• Question: Does our body contain allleles for every single illness or does it inherity it during development in the foetus?

    Asked by jonpaulharris97 to Pete on 3 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 3 Jul 2012:

      That’s a good question! Your genetic code is figured out when you’re conceived, and doesn’t change as you grow up – in other words, you don’t gain or lose genes in the environment. That means that the alleles you have when you’re born are the same ones you’ll have when you get older. I don’t know too much about genetics, but I don’t think that it’s the case that there’s a gene for every illness you can think of. Most variation at the genetic level doesn’t result in observable variation as a whole, and it will depend on the environment which you’re brought up in as well, that determines your susceptibility to certain types of illness.