Understanding your baby’s DNA and looks

Understanding your baby’s DNA and looks

It’s not uncommon for parents-to-be to obsess over what their baby will look like. But while you can speculate all you want, you’ll never be able to predict what your baby will look like when he enters this world. The truth is that most traits are the result of multiple genes working together. So while some of mom’s genes might be amplified, others might be reduced.  Luckily scientists have come to some sort of understanding about why we develop certain features. And THIS is your crash course of your baby’s DNA:

 

Understanding your baby’s DNA and looks

The hairy bunch

In utero, your baby inherited multiple gene pairs that all played a role in determining the color and type of hair he was born with. You and your partner might have dark hair. But you passed on light-haired genes (underlying ones) to your baby. Which is why he might have been born a blond bombshell. The other thing to keep in mind is that hair color isn’t necessarily stable over time. Your baby’s hair color may change as he matures. Even more so during puberty, when hormones activate the genes responsible for curl and color changes.

 

Eyes in the sky

A lot of babies are born with grayish-not-sure-what-color-that-is eyes. And unless your baby had very dark eyes at birth, that color will probably change. Before the color-producing cells in the iris can be activated, they need some light. Which could take up to six months. Ultimately, your baby’s eye color will be determined by the combination of alleles he inherits from you and your partner. Which can either be the brown-and-blue version or the green-and-blue version. The brown allele is dominant. Which means that if you have dark eyes but your partner has light eyes, your baby will probably have dark eyes as well.

 

Some interesting facts on human DNA

  • Red hair is controlled by a single gene. And if you and your partner have red-haired folks in your family, chances are good your baby will have it too.
  • Expressions may be a hereditary thing. According to a study in Evolution, people that are born blind are much more likely to share their relatives’ facial expressions of disgust, sadness, surprise, and joy. Surely blind people cannot learn to make facial expressions by copying their relatives. Which is why scientists reckon that expressions are hereditary.
  • Baldness doesn’t necessarily come from the mother’s side of the gene pool. There are quite a few factors that contribute to hair loss, and contrary to popular belief, genes play only a minor role.
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By Jess Green

Jess is a happy father and avid supporter of kiddles, writing occasionally and keeping the website afloat. His favourite kids activity is hiking and teaching kids about nature.

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