What is Genetic?

12 Jul

Do you know what physical traits are hereditary?


Heredity Definition: inherited traits passed down from the parent’s genes to the child.


What physical traits are genetically passed down from a single gene?

genes for eye color

  • Eye color is genetic.

Eye color is also based on how much melanin you have, which determines how much color pigment is deposited in your iris. Just like skin color and hair color, our genes give us a natural color, but those colors will change as we are exposed to more or less sunlight.

FUN FACT: Your true eye color is not determined until age 3!


  • Baldness is genetic.

baldness is genetic

A man is two and a half times more likely to be bad if his father is bald.

Thanks a lot DAD!


  • A cleft chin is genetic.

Cleft chin is genetic

It’s also ravishingly handsome!

(Unfortunately comedic genius is not hereditary.)


  • Nearsightedness is genetic.

Nearsightedness is genetic.

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is the most common eye disease in the world.  In American if you have myopia you are “nearsighted”, in Britain you are “shortsighted”.


  • Dimples are genetic.

dimples are genetic

Dimples are created by facial muscles that are shorter than usual.  They are a dominant trait, so if your parent’s have dimples there is a 50% chance that you will have dimples.

And dimples are ridiculously cute!


  • Earlobe shapes are genetic.

earlobes are geneticIf your earlobes hang down a bit from the ear, you have the dominant earlobe gene being expressed.  If your earlobes are attached directly to the side of the head, you have the recessive earlobe gene being expressed.

However, if your earlobes look like this guy’s, then medical science has no way to help you.


  • Hand clasping is genetic.

Hand clasping is genetic

Most people fold their left hand over their right hand (the left thumb is on top of the right thumb).  If you try to clasp your hands with the opposite thumb on top, it will feel out of place.


  • How you fold your arms is genetic.

arm crossing is genetic

Ever wonder why having one arm on top feels good and having the other arm on top feels uncomfortable?  If you have the correct arm on top, it just makes you look really tough.  It’s also genetic.


  • Tongue Rolling is genetic.

tongue rolling is genetic

Although studies have shown that some twins do not share the phenotype for tongue rolling, there may still be genes responsible for the muscular development of the tongue which determine whether or not you can roll your tongue.

It is not yet certain what role tongue rolling has played in the evolution of the human species. In a related note, the ability to tie a cherry in a knot with your tongue is not genetic.


  • Right-handedness and Left-handedness are genetic.

right handedness is genetic

Some scientists think that only one gene determines right and left handedness, while other scientists claim that two genes are required.

The ability to do the Vulcan salute is not genetic, but being a Vulcan is genetic.

Fun fact: 60% of schizophrenics have left-handed genes.


  • Hair whorl direction is genetic.

hair whorl is genetic

Most people have hair-whorls that turn clockwise on the scalp.

The same gene that determines right or left handedness may also determine the direction of your hair whorl.


  • Toe length is genetic.

Morton's toe is genetic

When the second toe is longer than the big toe, it is called Morton’s Toe.  Morton’s toe is caused by a dominant gene, but less than 20% of the population expresses it.


  • A bent pinky finger is genetic.

Clinodactyly is genetic

When the pinky is bent towards the fourth finger, it is called Clinodactyly.  It is a common trait, however, 80% of individuals with down syndrome also have a bent pinky.

Having a bent pinky does not reduce the effectiveness of the pinky swear.


  • Darwin’s Tubercle is genetic.

Darwin's tubercle is genetic

The thick spot at the top of the ear that 10% of people have is known as Darwin’s Tubercle, because it is the point of the ear that is left over from the pointed ear tips of apes and other mammal ancestors.

Elves’ ears are typically depicted with pointy tubercles, just like monkeys.  This presents evidence that humans are in fact more evolved than elves.


  • Tasting bitter plants is genetic.

bitter taste is genetic

Some bitter tastes can only be tasted by people with a certain gene.

This may be why some people really hate broccoli!


  • Hitchhiker’s thumb is genetic.

Hitchhiker's thumb is genetic.

Some people have a straight thumb, which is the dominant trait, and other people can bend their thumb back 45 degrees. This is called a Hitchhiker’s thumb and it is the recessive trait.

Tests have not shown Hitchhiker’s thumb to actually improve your chances of stopping cars while Hitchhiking.


  • Widow’s Peak is genetic.

widows peak is genetic

The pointed hairline got its name from the hood or cap that widowed women used to wear to show that they were widows. The term Widow’s Peak was first used in 1849, but pointed hoods and caps were worn by women as early as the 16th century.

It is a dominant trait, so if your parent’s have a Widow’s Peak you are very likely to have it as well.


  • Middle digit finger hair is genetic.

mid digit hair is genetic

Each finger has 3 digits (the spaces between the knuckles).  If you have hair on the middle digit, then you have the dominant gene being expressed.  If you have no hair at all on any of the middle digits of your fingers, than you have two recessive genes for that trait.

Some dogs like the Chinese Crested Dog have been bred to be nearly completely hairless.  So far no humans have been bred to be hairless due to the intervention of shaving gel manufacturers.


  • Wet or dry earwax is genetic.

wet and dry earwax is genetic

Wet earwax is the dominant gene expression and is found most prevalently in African and European populations.   Dry earwax is the recessive gene expression and is found predominantly in Asian and Native American populations.

Earwax is universally considered gross.


  • Blood type is genetic.

blood type is genetic

There are 4 blood types: A, B, AB, and O.  Your genes tell your body to make enzymes that produce either A or B antigens, making A, B, or AB blood.  There is a third version of this gene that causes the body to create a protein that doesn’t work.  It produces neither A nor B antigens.  This is O blood.   It is universal because it does not produce any antigens.  You can only have O blood if you received the O gene from both parents – it is recessive.

Vampires are all AB+ (AB positive) because they can receive blood from any source.


  • Risk of certain diseases is genetic.

Risk of certain diseases is genetic

There are many genetic diseases and many diseases that have genetic predispositions.

It is illegal to discriminate based on genetic information.  If your employer or health insurance agent asks for a swab of your cheek cells, just say no!


Genetics is a very complex field and the expression of a gene may depend on several other factors as well.  Not all of the above traits will be expressed simply because of the presence of a specific gene.

The above traits are highly dependent on genetic information, however there are always other factors to consider:

genes genetics evolution

If You Found One of Your Genetic Traits

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One Response to “What is Genetic?”

  1. Farmer July 13, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Thanks for using the time and effort to write something so interesting.

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