acquired characteristics


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acquired characteristics,

modifications produced in an individual plant or animal as a result of mutilation, disease, use and disuse, or any distinctly environmental influence. Some examples are docking of tails, malformation caused by disease, and muscle atrophy. The belief in the inheritability of acquired characteristics, proposed by the French biologist Jean-Baptiste LamarckLamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de
, 1744–1829, French naturalist. He is noted for his study and classification of invertebrates and for his introduction of evolutionary theories.
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 in 1809, was widely accepted at one time, but is now rejected. Geneticists have affirmed that inheritance is determined solely by the reproductive cells and is unaffected by somatic (body) cells.
References in periodicals archive ?
6) And he had a thoroughly scientific explanation for that vital force: the inheritance of acquired characteristics.
The 21 activities cover taxonomy, nature studies, and acquired characteristics.
It is this that permits the inheritance of acquired characteristics of a certain sort--of learning, through communication from one human being to another.
The discovery bears a spooky parallel to the discredited ideas of 19th-century biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who argued that species inherit acquired characteristics.
One institution is crucial to Trumbach's argument: the emergence of the domesticated brothel, a marketplace for heterosexual sex that acquired characteristics compatible with the romantic model of relationship embraced by aristocracy and gentry.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston say they have shown that bacteria can somehow adopt genetic traits in response to a particular environment, then pass on these acquired characteristics to their offspring.

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