Surely you’ve wondered what is responsible for your black hair, your brown eyes, or the ever so famous big feet that run in your family and you thought genes, right? These tiny things are what make you who you are. Without genes, well, you wouldn’t exist. Amazing isn’t it?
Genetics allows us to understand how characteristics are passed down by parents and inherited by offspring. How is it that offspring are so similar to their parents? What’s the probability of inheriting more phenotypic traits (physical characteristics) from the father than from the mother? How did this mutation arise and what went wrong? How have mutations helped in promoting evolution? Genetics helps answer questions such as these and more.
Genetic make up can be especially important when dealing with genetically related disorders, in which cases disorders can be detected and treated early. This reduces any risks of further complications, it can help to accommodate special needs if detected as early as a few weeks into pregnancy. For example, if Autism is detected in infancy, then treatment and therapy can begin as early as 18 months. Other genetic disorders include Trisomy 18 (Edward’s Syndrome), Cystic Fibrosis, Down Syndrome, and Sickle Cell Anemia. The disorders listed are just a few of the many that exist. Knowing the genetic components of each of these is highly beneficial in keeping the health of the individual affect by the disorder.
But the best part about Genetics is that it does not only apply to humans. Any living thing has some type of genetic make up ready to be studied. From Mendel’s pea plants to your pet at home. A major in genetics can be applied to anything that has genes.
A brief list of possible career options:
- Biotechnology (Working with biotechnology companies)
- All the health sciences
- And more
The requirements for the Genetics major can be found on the UC Davis website under majors. Here’s a quick link: http://catalog.ucdavis.edu/programs/MCB/MCBreqt.html (Make sure to scroll down to “Genetics B.S. Major Requirements.”)
I encourage you to check out the major requirements and major description and try out a few classes as well. Who knows, you might fall in love with it!
Second year, Biological Sciences
Biology Academic Success Center Peer Adviser