GENETIC INFORMATION – HOW WE ARE ALL MADE
Have you ever wondered why we all look different? Why some people are tall and some people are short? Why our noses and faces are all different shapes? This is because we all have different genetic information.
Genetic information is like a set of instructions. The instructions are used when we are growing and developing. They decide what we will look like when we’re older.
We all have different genetic information and that is why we all look different. We get this information from our parents.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING SEX?
Your parents had sex to make you. Your father ejaculated semen from his penis into your mother’s vagina. The semen contains sperm. Sperm are very small and can’t be seen. They have little tails that they use to swim inside the woman’s body.
Women have a store of eggs in their ovaries (little compartments above their wombs). These eggs are also very small and can’t be seen. Once a month, an egg is released from the ovaries. When your parents have sex, a sperm from your father swims towards this egg from your mother.
The sperm and the egg fuse together. This is called fertilisation. It makes a small cell that will grow and develop into the baby in the mother’s womb.
WHERE DO WE GET OUR GENETIC MATERIAL FROM?
The sperm contains genetic information from your father. The egg contains information from your mother. When the sperm and egg fuse, the information from your parents mixes together. This makes your information.
Your genetic information is unique to you. It decides things like your face shape and height (it determines what you look like). Because your information comes from your mother and your father, children often look similar to their parents.