Biology Science Videos 

Is Height All In Our Genes?


Dr. Joe Hanson is tall. Most of the people in his family are tall. Does that mean his son will be tall?

Turns out the inheritance of height is a lot more complicated than we thought. Scientists know that nature (genes) and nurture (environment) both play a role, but after more than a century of questions, we’re only just now starting to get some answers.

In this episode of It’s Okay to Be Smart, learn how the average height of humans changed over time due to agriculture, migration, and industry. And learn while genes cause growth spurts. 

More about genes

The Effect of Exercise on Your Genes

Is Depression In Our Genes?

Virus DNA in Humans: What’s in Your Genes?

Epigenetics of offspring influenced by parents’ diets

Genetics Behind Lavender’s Popular Scent


Fryar, C.D. et al. (2016). Anthropometric reference data for children and adults: United States, 2011–2014. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 3(39).

NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. (2016). A century of trends in adult human height. eLife 5:e13410.

Visscher, P.M. et al. (2007). Genome partitioning of genetic variation for height from 11,214 sibling pairs. American Journal of Human Genetics 81:1104–10.

Zimmer, C. (2018). She has her mother’s laugh: The powers, perversions, and potential of heredity. New York: Dutton.

It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.

Director: Andrew Matthews

Writer: Andrew Matthews Creative

Director: David Schulte

Editor/animator: Derek Borsheim

Producers: Stephanie Noone and Amanda Fox Produced by PBS Digital Studios Music via APM


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