Central Unit of life: Gene
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) And Chromosomes:
- In a cell, the “instructions” come in the form of DNA.
- DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.
- DNA is present in almost every human cell. It provides the blueprint or recipe for how our bodies grow, develop, and function.
- DNA is a double helix (imagine a twisted ladder) that is made of two sugar and phosphate backbones and four different nitrogenous bases: adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine (A, T, G, and C).
- DNA is packaged onto proteins called histones to form chromosomes.
- Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, including the X and Y chromosomes. X and Y are the sex chromosomes that determine whether someone is male (XY) or female (XX).
- The other 22 chromosome pairs are called the autosomes.
Each chromosome contains thousands of genes. A gene is a portion of DNA that codes for a protein.
- Each gene is made up of billions of letters, which our body reads in three-letter units called codons.
- Each three-letter codon determines a specific amino acid.
- The amino acids are strung together to make proteins, such as hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
- The many genes that provide the instructions for the proteins in our bodies determine a wide range of features, including outwardly appearing physical traits such as height, eye color and hair color, to inner functioning, such as how each organ system works.
- There are over 20,000 genes in the human genome! We are only beginning to understand how many of them might work.
Although genes and chromosomes are mostly similar from person to person, there is variation among people. Most of the time, this variation does not impact health or development. Genetic variation explains some of the wonderful differences that we see among humans.
“Journal of Genetics and Genomes” publishes peer-reviewed research work on the discoveries and current developments in the field of Genetics relating to all the domains of life, from humans to plants to livestock and other model organisms, headed by pre-eminent Editorial Board to ensure article quality and to provide unbiased and efficient publishing process.
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