As humans have learned more about our genome, we have sought to understand more about how much of who we are is determined by genetics, and how much of an influence our environment has on us. This video by 23andMe, a company that sells DNA sequencing kits to the public, explores that question with Ruth Tennen, Ph.D., a 23andMe product scientist.
Simply put, the many characteristics of humans exist on a spectrum, with genetic influences at one end and environmental impacts at the other. Some traits are entirely determined by our genes, like blood type, for example, while others are related to things in our environment. Diseases are similar, where some are due to gene mutations while others are connected to things in our lifestyle, like the food we eat or how much exercise we get.