Interaction of Genes and Environment – Genetics Research Example

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The paper "Interaction of Genes and Environment" is a wonderful example of genetics research. Genes are the basic unit of heredity, present in all living organisms irrespective of their size, shape, and habitat. The ability to live organisms to grow, reproduce and proliferate, directly implicates the chemical reactions occurring in the body which are directed and controlled by genes. Chemically, genes comprise the DNA that controls the cellular environment as well as the metabolic processes thereby directs the cellular mechanism and hence influence the survival of the organisms (Alberts, 2002; Snustad, 2002). Interaction of Genes and Environment (G X E)                       Genes are liable to interact with various physical and chemical molecules which can potentially alter their characteristics, such modifications are termed mutation, these could be beneficial or detrimental for the organism.

However, enhancement of characteristics is beneficial, such features are exploited by the researchers to boost the crop yield or to improve the quality of life of humans and animals (Alberts, 2002; Snustad, 2002).                       Genes interact with the environment of the organism and respond to it, for instance, they trigger the formation of antibodies when there is an attack by the bacteria or any other agent able to elicit a change in the cellular environment, such interaction determines the disease condition.

In a similar manner, the non-disjunction of 21st chromosomes in the cellular environment results in the genetic anomaly called Down's Syndrome; if the HIV virus gains control of the cellular DNA it results in a condition called AIDS. Triggering proto-oncogene by environmental factors converts it to an oncogene, responsible for causing cancer of that particular organ (Irigaray et al, 2007).                       Besides the cellular environment which is an amalgamation of the physical and chemical environment of the organism, genes are highly influenced by the immediate shared and non-shared environment of the organism.

A congenial and cognitive environment influences the psychology of a person making an individual more responsive and attentive. It enhances the potential, intelligence as well as efficacy of the brain to think in a creative and positive manner. Although, shared environment encompassing poverty, parental understanding, and relationship, nurture, domestic environment, education, family interaction, exposure to the social sphere, communication with others are some important features that directly influence the behavior.

These factors together influence the attitude and nature and personality and make the individual talkative and expressive. However, heredity has little role in inducing talkative nature as in some cases parents may be reserved but the child turns out to be extrovert or vice versa. On the other hand, an uncongenial environment imposes a negative influence on the budding psychology of the youngsters. Socioeconomic status possesses little importance in cognitive and behavior development (McGue & Bouchard, 1998). However, research carried out by Paige & Jane, (2012), suggests that girls maturing at an early age are at risk for genetic and environmental interaction risk and therefore they display delinquent attitudes.

Probably this may result in overexpression of self to frame an impression, thereby inducing a talkative attitude.             The non-shared environment is a personal predisposition, psychology, the outlook of an individual, response to stimulus, likes and dislikes involving addiction, behavior, observation, etc. All these influence approaches and talkative temperament of the person. As brain research reveals that most brain development occurs in the womb followed by rapid neuronal development till the age of three, the interaction of parents with a child is imperative in empowering the child with expression (McGue & Bouchard, 1998). ).

According to Borkenau, (2004), behavior genetics suggests that ~ 40% of the personality is contributed by genetics while 25% by shared environment and 35% by the nonshared environment.                       Thus, the nature of a person is directly influenced by genes while nurture is influenced by the environment. This interaction is solely responsible for the personality of the individual.

A supportive and cognitive environment lays the foundation of a confident persona right from childhood enabling the child to express in a better way through a conversation and communicate thoughts based on knowledge, understanding, perception, interpretation, correlation. All these features are portrayed in the personality as the child reaches teens. Such characteristics are a true amalgamation of genes with a shared and nonshared environment provided to the individual.  


Alberts, B., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walter P. "Molecular Biology of the Cell". 4th ed. Publisher Garland Science. 2002.

Borkenau, P., Riemann, R., Angleitner, A., Spinath, F. M. (2001). Genetic and environmental influences on observed personality: Evidence from German Observational Study of Adult Twins. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(4), 655-668.

Irigaray, P., Newby, J. A., Clapp, R., Hardell, L., Howard, V., Montagnier, L., Epstein, S., Belpomme, D. "Lifestyle-related factors and environmental agents causing cancer: An overview". Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 61(10). 640-658. 2007.

McGue, M., Bouchard, T. J. (1998). Genetic And Environmental Influences on Human Behavioral Differences. Annu. Rev. Neurosci, 21, 1-24.

Paige, H. K., Jane, M. (2012). Gene-environment interplay in the association between pubertal timing and delinquency in adolescent girls. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121(1), 73- 87.

Snustad, D.P., Simmons, M.J. "Principles of Genetics". 3rd ed. Publisher Wiley. 2002.

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