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What is a gene? (An analogy)
Every living organism on earth has a genome that is unique to that organism. However, all of the genomes are made of the same basic material.
You can think of the set of instructions that make you human as a book. That book would be called your genome.
Like sentences are grouped into paragraphs, genes are often clustered with related genes on the chromosomes.
The instruction manual can be broken down into chapters. Like chapters in a book, genomes are made up of smaller parts called chromosomes.
End
he quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
Beginning
A gene can be compared to a single sentence in the instruction manual. Like a sentence each gene has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Middle
GGC
The genome alphabet has only four letters: G, A, T, and C. These genetic "letters" are called bases.
GAG
TAA
Each sentence in the instruction manual is made up of words. In a gene each of these words is three letters long and is called a codon.
TCG
ATG
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What is a gene? (an analogy)
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How big is a genome?
I don't get it
What is a gene made of?
I got it!
About the site: I developed geneticsalive.com as a companion website to cellsalive.com. Everything a cell does is a direct result of the genetics of that cell, whether it is a single-cell organism or part of a much larger organism. Thus, understanding the cells requires an understanding of the basis of all of their behaviors. About the author: I am a microbiologist studying microbial pathogenesis and the host immune response. My studies have included work in many pathogens including Rabies and Influenza viruses, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Francisella tularensis, and Salmonella enterica. I currently live just outside of Philadelphia, PA, where I work as a postdoctoral fellow researching antigen processing and presentation during rabies infection. My email is always open for suggestions, corrections, or any other comments. Please feel free to contact me: geneticsalive@gmail.com