Saturday, September 28, 2013

Extending the Paper DNA Family

A few posts back I demonstrated DNA inheritance with scrapbook paper. However, I only showed the inheritance of autosomal DNA, the bits and pieces of our chromosomes that we inherit from our parents in random ways. Today I'll expand the concept to show Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA, known as mtDNA.

Let's start with mtDNA. The way I understand it, mitochondria provides energy to our cells. The
mitochondria has it's own DNA. mtDNA is passed from mother to daughter and mother to son.

Here's Miss Rose with her red strand of mtDNA, or a piece of Mizuhiki Cord. She'll pass that mtDNA to all her children.

Her husband, Mr Brown has a wide blue strand of mtDNA that came from his mother, but he can't pass that on to his children.

Mr Brown also has some blue Mizuhiki Cord. That's the Y-DNA he inherited from his father. Miss Rose doesn't have any Y-DNA because that Y chromosome is what makes an individual a man. Mr Brown will pass his Y-DNA to his sons, but not his daughters.

Got that? Now let's look at a pictorial tree of the Paper Family. Son Brown marries Miss Vines and Daughter Brown marries Mr Black. Each of those couples has one son and one daughter. What Y-DNA and mtDNA will those grandchildren have?

Notice that Granddaughter Black has Miss Rose's mtDNA while Grandson Brown has Mr Brown's Y-DNA, as does son Brown.

Next time: the DNA testing options.

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