What are genes?


This post is more like a link between What is DNA? and the next post that will be about chromosomes. So its a really short post.

A lot of people usually get confused between DNA and genes. A gene is the basic functional unit that determines heredity.

Genes are made up of DNA.

Some genes are instructions to make proteins, but most shockingly was to find that most genes do not code for proteins.

Genes can vary in size from a few hundred DNA bases to over two million DNA bases. The Human Genome Project found that humans have an estimated number of genes ranging between 20,000 and 25,000.

In your body, you have two copies of each gene, one that came from your father, and one that came from your mother.

Less than 1% of genes are different between people, which means that we all share more than 99% identical genes.

Genes are usually found in alleles that can be described as forms of the same gene, but with small differences in their DNA base sequences. These small differences are what makes each person’s physical features different from the next.

Genes are what give us blue, brown or green eyes.

Genes are given unique names to identify them to which trait they lead to. Gene names can be very long, confusing and difficult to say, that is why scientist use assigned symbols which are a combination of letters and/or numbers that represent the abbreviation of the gene name.

If you are interested in seeing how genes get their names, you can visit the following site: How are genetic conditions and genes named?

Next up, I will be discussing what chromosomes are.

Comment below if these posts are helpful in your daily life, and please feel free to tell me if I need to discuss a specific topic you want to learn more about.

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