Genetics is the study of genes. A gene is a small piece of information that can determine many characteristics such as height, eye colour, and health. Our genetic information is passed down (inherited) from our parents through genes. Around half of all Australians will be affected in some way by a genetic health issue in their lifetime. Many health problems (such as diabetes and heart disease) are partly or completely caused by our genes. This is why some health conditions run in families. Understanding how our genes work may help us to manage these health issues and alleviate our concerns.