What is heritability?

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Heritability is a measure of how well genetic differences in people can explain trait differences. For example, when a baby is born, how a grandma tends to calculate the traits and features of the baby that resemble the baby’s parents and their relatives. These include characteristic traits such as the height, eye color, and intelligence, along with any defects or disorders.

Scientifically, heritability (represented as h²) is defined as the proportion of variation in a trait explained by inherited genetic variants. Heritability estimates range from 0 (genetics explains nothing about the trait) to 1 (genetics explains everything) and are often expressed as a percentage. Trait heritability estimates are specific to populations within an environment and can change over time as conditions change.

Did you know?

All humans have the same genes arranged in the same order. About 99.9% of all human DNA sequences are the same. It is this 0.1% genetic code that is responsible for all the differences between people. These slight differences between us make each of us unique.

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