Genetics is the study of heredity and how traits are passed along from parents to offspring. Genes are contained within the chromosomes found in the egg and sperm. Each parent contributes one half of each pair or 23 chromosomes to their child, 22 autosomal and 1 sex chromosome.
Review Date 1/10/2018
Updated by: Anna C. Edens Hurst, MD, MS, Assistant Professor in Medical Genetics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.