Prenatal Growth and Genetics

Subject: Psychology
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 610
Topics: Childhood, Genetics, Health, Medical Ethics

According to Falkner (2013), prenatal growth is the procedure of development that happens in the womb, whereby a single-celled zygote (the cell formed when the sperm and the egg are combined together) gets to become an embryo, then it becomes a fetus and lastly, a baby. Genetics on the other hand is the doctrine that studies the manner in which characteristics, with regards to living things, get transmitted from a generation to another. DNA molecules are found in every living thing which are then passed on to the organisms they reproduce (Falkner, 2013). Gene is the basic unit of heredity.

Genetics play a very vital role in the formation of who humans are. With cells being the basic working units of each living system, all instructions that are needed for the purpose of directing their activities are situated within the chemical DNA.

The merging of sperm (together with twenty three chromosomes) as well as the cell that develops into an egg or ovum (with twenty three chromosomes) in fertilization does result into a living human. This single –cell being is known as the Zygote. It has 46 chromosomes (De Onis, 2017). The zygote instantly produces its own particular proteins as well as enzymes then directs its own development and growth as a unique being.

In addition, according to De Onis (2017), a number of experimentally done studies have demonstrated that fetal development can also be directed or controlled by genetics. Issues caused by genetics, for example inherited illnesses and chromosomal anomalies exhibit a massive influence on the child’s development.

Substantial data has been produced from ongoing studies in the domain of genetics. As a result of that, today Scientists know and apprehend the structure of the human complete genetic information (either DNA or, in some viruses RNA) and many other inherited disorders (De Onis, 2017). The transmission mode, with regards to numerous characteristics, to the fetus can be determined by the inherited recessive, dominant and sex linked genes.

A huge number of the developing embryo’s characteristics are actually encoded within the genes. As such, the question is posed, how comes all cells portray similar genomes yet exhibit very distinct fates in the development stages?

Falkner (2013) elaborates that at the time of the early stages of the embryo’s development, the actual physical appearance of the embryo is not altered where as the number of the cells are elevated in a rapid manner. This simply means that from the very initial stage the cells are similar and that they can adopt any situational fate. As a result the fate of the cells is decided by qualitative as well as quantitative changes in gene expression, which results from the changes in the endogenous and exogenous signaling.

Chromosomal abnormality is the dedicated investigation on the role of chromosomes in the growth or development of the human fetal (Falkner,2013). Genes carry the instructions meant for growth and development. When there are some changes in the gene, they make the genes become faulty and thus the message fails to get read in a correct manner or is not read at all by the cell. The alterations or changes of a gene which makes it faulty is known as mutation. As such, chromosomal disorder is due to the chromosome aberrations that range from the numerical to structural damages. Two scientific techniques have been employed in the identification of the mutations leading to diseases; molecular and cytogenetic (pertaining to the origin and development of cells) techniques (Falkner, 2013).

Genetics and prenatal growth or development goes hand in hand. There are a number of genetic factors that influence the growth and development of a fetal as discussed above.

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  1. De Onis, M. (2017). Child growth and development. In Nutrition and Health in a Developing World (pp. 119-141). Humana Press, Cham.
  2. Falkner, F. (Ed.). (2013). Principles and Prenatal Growth. Springer Science & Business Media. Chicago
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