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Mom Vs. Dad: What Did You Inherit?

It’s easy to feel like you’re an even
mix of your parents, but that’s not always the case. So, who should you be blaming over those traits
you don’t like? What did you inherit from Mom and what came
from Dad? Colour-blind? If you’re a male, you can thank your mother. Red-green colour blindness is an X-linked
disorder that affects nearly 6% of the male population worldwide, but only 0.4% of females. This is because males only inherit one X chromosome,
which is from their mother, and that’s where red-green colorblindness comes from. If you’re a female, you have to get a the
X-variant from both parents. So that 0.4% can blame dad as well! Balding? A big component comes from the X-chromosome
here too, so you likely inherited this from your mom. However, a study involving 52,000 people found
that genes on other chromosomes can affect this condition, on top of environmental factors
such as age, stress, and diet – so mom isn’t entirely to blame! Research has also found that the shape of
the end of your nose, the area above and below the lips, cheekbones and the inner corner
of the eye are highly influenced by genetics. And interestingly, the more they resemble
your father as a child, the healthier you’re likely to be. Why? Scientists believe that a father-child resemblance
causes fathers to spend more time engaging in positive parenting, which ultimately contributes
to healthier kids. Now, even though you get half of your 46 chromosomes
from mom and the other from dad, a study involving genetically diverse mice found that for 60%
of genes the paternal copy was more active than the maternal copy. This phenomenon is known as allelic imbalance. The same study also noted that the brains
of these particular mice more closely resembled that of their dad than their mom. However, in humans we actually see the opposite. Our brains are more similar to our mother,
which is particularly true for daughters. Interestingly, the similar brain regions are
actually associated with depressive conditions, suggesting that mood disorders may pass from
mother to daughter. Biologists used to believe that all DNA came
from the nucleus, but we now know that the mitochondria (AKA the powerhouse of the cell)
also kicks in some protein coding genes. And this mitochondrial DNA is specifically
inherited from your mom because your dad’s degraded immediately after fertilization. Considering how important mitochondrial DNA
is in the cell, there is a stronger maternal link. Mutations in mitochondrial DNA have been associated
with Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease – which more likely came from your mom. Maternal inheritance gave rise to the idea
of a “Mitochondrial Eve”, a woman who lived between 180,000 to 580,000 years ago
from which all human mitochondrial DNA is rooted. At the end of the day, it may seem like a
lot of traits actually come from your mom, or at least, from the X chromosome – and that’s
generally true, genetically. The Y-chromosome is very small, and doesn’t
contain as many genes; and both females and males contain X-chromosomes, which carry more
genes. But as we continue to research more about
ourselves at the genetic level, the division between what you got from mom vs. dad may
become even more pronounced. If you want to know more about your own genetics,
you can visit, who sponsored this episode. Whether you want to know about your chances
of balding, back hair, your taste sense or where your ancestors came from, 23andMe’s
kit will get you started. We both took it, and I found out the GREAT
news that I’m more prone to having a little upper back hair, which until recently I thought
was FALSE, but as I’ve aged Greg told me is actually TRUE!! What I thought was cool is that you can find
out how certain factors affect your weight. Like for me fast food is likely to have the
biggest impact on my weight followed by exercise. Be sure to head to for the
latest promotion on your kit. As always, thanks for watching, be sure to
subscribe for more weekly science videos every Thursday, and we will see you next time!
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