10 Myths About Genetics We Still Believe

The Internet is a storehouse of countless theories concerning millions of topics we often blindly believe.

Today WeGoRo decided to deal with the most popular Internet myths about genetics — these certainly shouldn’t be taken for truth.

In fact, mixed genes simply provide a well-functioning immune system. Scientists believe that people with such a system are perceived as more attractive: the people around them have a subconscious feeling that those people will have the same healthy progeny.

In fact, only a predisposition to cancer is inherited, and only 5-10% of cases are caused by genetics. This applies to such types as stomach cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, and acute leukemia.

Fact: cancer

As we know, DNA has to mutate. A mutation is a random error during the transmission of genes that provides diversity in natural selection. And if DNA was really perfect, evolution would stop because of the lack of diversity. As a consequence, mankind would become extinct.

Fact: youtube

This is partly true: our personality traits and temper are determined genetically, but the environment also plays a significant role. It can lead to the "shutdown" of some genes. Even twins can grow differently. However, there are genes that have the greatest chance of being inherited. These are irritability, a tendency to gambling, communication, extreme sports, neuroticism, and the ability to maintain a long relationship.

Fact: study.com

If one of the parents suffers from depression, then the child’s chances to get this illness double, in case of bipolar disorder — 4 times higher, with schizophrenia — 8 times. Yet this doesn’t mean children will necessarily have these diseases. The risk is relative, not absolute.

Fact: bbc

Despite the popularity of this mysterious theory, the human genome is absolutely indifferent to the incidents in the world. Gametes don’t behave in a special way before, during, or after a war.

In the scientific world, there’s no common opinion about exactly what plays a role in the formation of sexual orientation. Yet most researchers believe there’s no special "gay gene" and that, most likely, it’s the result of the interaction of a number of biological and cultural factors.

Fact: wikipedia

Belonging to a certain ethnic group is determined not by genes but solely by education, the traditions of society, family, and other cultural specificities. That is, ethnicity is acquired in almost the same way as spoken language.

Fact: npr.org

An unjustified online tale. If intellect was transmitted with the X chromosome, then women would be twice as clever because, unlike men, they have two X chromosomes.

Fact: wikipedia

Yes, a predisposition to alcoholism may be inherited, but this doesn’t mean a person will necessarily become an alcoholic. The role of genes and social environment is approximately equal: 50 to 50.