gene

Pronunciation: (jeen)

The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The basic unit of heredity that occupies a specific location on a chromosome. Each consists of nucleotides arranged in a linear manner. Most genes code for a specific protein or segment of protein leading to a particular characteristic or function.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

Caption: Structure of DNA. Most DNA is found inside the nucleus of a cell, where it forms the chromosomes. Chromosomes have proteins called histones that bind to DNA. DNA has two strands that twist into the shape of a spiral ladder called a helix. DNA is made up of four building blocks called nucleotides: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). The nucleotides attach to each other (A with T, and G with C) to form chemical bonds called base pairs, which connect the two DNA strands. Genes are short pieces of DNA that carry specific genetic information.

Caption: Structure of DNA. Most DNA is found inside the nucleus of a cell, where it forms the chromosomes. Chromosomes have proteins called histones that bind to DNA. DNA has two strands that twist into the shape of a spiral ladder called a helix. DNA is made up of four building blocks called nucleotides: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). The nucleotides attach to each other (A with T, and G with C) to form chemical bonds called base pairs, which connect the two DNA strands. Genes are short pieces of DNA that carry specific genetic information.

Date last modified: 2015-02-09