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Does My Height Make Sense for My Genetic Makeup?

  1. Feb 21, 2017 #1
    Me: 6'0.125"
    Elder brother: 6'2.7"
    Sister: 5'9.25"
    Father: About as tall as my brother
    Grandfather (paternal side): I don't know his height due to him having passed away long before I was born, but he looked about as tall me in a picture
    Mother: 5'4.5"
    Grandmother (maternal side): Used to be about as tall as my mother
    Grandfather (maternal side): Used to be about as tall as me

    My eye and hair color and body type are from my paternal side. I actually look a lot like how my father used to look. Our faces are similar for the most part. This gives me an awful suspicion that I could have been as tall as him. Hopefully, the fact that I'm shorter than him is due to genetics, and not anything else. The factors that I have mentioned above, could maybe explain why my height doesn't measure up to my father's height
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2017 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Simple short answer: Half of your genes came from your Dad. Identical twins (share all their genes) are usually closer in height to each other than siblings in the same family and of the same sex.

    But they still may differ. The expression of genes - what they do or do not do - is related to environment.

    So everything you said seems okay to me. However, you do not appear to be asking about height. There are various genetic test kits that use saliva samples. In the US they are relatively inexpensive.
  4. Feb 22, 2017 #3
    I was wondering if any of the information I gave, could explain why I'm quite a bit shorter than my father, but still look a lot like him. The fact that my grandfather on my maternal side was the same height as me, and the fact that my grandfather (paternal side) was around my height, could possibly explain that. I'm not sure, though. That's why I'm asking
  5. Feb 22, 2017 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    There is nothing to explain - except that genetics does not work the way most people think. You have 12.5% (one eighth) of your genetic material from your grandfather.

    Humans have a lot of genetic variation. You have 23 pairs of chromosomes. The DNA on those chromosomes got there through a process crossing-over. Chromosome chunks are swapped around, then the chromosome pair splits and goes into either egg or sperm. So your personal DNA is a messed-around stirred-up version of what any of your ancestors had. One big reason why people in a family can all look very different from one another and have very different temperaments. This is called genetic variation.

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  6. Feb 22, 2017 #5


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    2017 Award

    Peoples' heights are not only determined by their genes but by their environments as well. For example, nutrition can play a big role in determining an individual's height. Here's a nice article discussing how much of a person's height is due to genetic factors and how much is due to environmental factors: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-much-of-human-height/

    In general, traits assort independently from each other; that is, if you get trait X from your father, that doesn't mean that you are more likely to also inherit trait Y from your father. This situation occurs only if the two traits are determined by the same gene(s) or if the genes lie close to each other on the chromosome. A trait like height, which is influenced by many hundreds of genes, is more likely to show mixing of the parental phenotypes than inheriting only the height of the mother or father.
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