Related topics: genome · protein · cells · mutations · gene expression

Grape genetics research reveals what makes the perfect flower

Wines and table grapes exist thanks to a genetic exchange so rare that it's only happened twice in nature in the last 6 million years. And since the domestication of the grapevine 8,000 years ago, breeding has continued to ...

Controlling insulin production with a smartwatch

Many modern fitness trackers and smartwatches feature integrated LEDs. The green light emitted, whether continuous or pulsed, penetrates the skin and can be used to measure the wearer's heart rate during physical activity ...

Researchers reveal key information about how genes turn on and off

Human bodies have roughly 30,000 genes dictating not only how we look, but also critical biological processes. Now, a Florida State University and Australia National University research team has discovered a key aspect of ...

Using CRISPR to lower cholesterol levels in monkeys

A team of researchers from Verve Therapeutics and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a CRISPR gene-editing technique that lowered the levels of cholesterol in the blood of test ...

Plants get a faster start to their day than we think

To describe something as slow and boring we say it's "like watching grass grow", but scientists studying the early morning activity of plants have found they make a rapid start to their day—within minutes of dawn.

Plant flowering in low-nitrogen soils: A mechanism revealed

Scientists from Japan, Europe and the USA have described a pathway leading to the accelerated flowering of plants in low-nitrogen soils. These findings could eventually lead to increases in agricultural production.

page 1 from 5

Gene

A gene is the basic unit of heredity in a living organism. All living things depend on genes. Genes hold the information to build and maintain their cells and pass genetic traits to offspring. A modern working definition of a gene is "a locatable region of genomic sequence, corresponding to a unit of inheritance, which is associated with regulatory regions, transcribed regions, and or other functional sequence regions " . In common usage, the term gene often refers to what is known more accurately as an allele.

The notion of a gene has evolved with the science of genetics, which began when Gregor Mendel noticed that biological variations are inherited from parent organisms as specific, discrete traits. The biological entity responsible for defining traits was termed a gene, but the biological basis for inheritance remained unknown until DNA was identified as the genetic material in the 1940s. All organisms have many genes corresponding to many different biological traits, some of which are immediately visible, such as eye color or number of limbs, and some of which are not, such as blood type or increased risk for specific diseases, or the thousands of basic biochemical processes that comprise life.

In cells, a gene is a portion of DNA that contains both "coding" sequences that determine what the gene does, and "non-coding" sequences that determine when the gene is active (expressed). When a gene is active, the coding and non-coding sequences are copied in a process called transcription, producing an RNA copy of the gene's information. This piece of RNA can then direct the synthesis of proteins via the genetic code. In other cases, the RNA is used directly, for example as part of the ribosome. The molecules resulting from gene expression, whether RNA or protein, are known as gene products, and are responsible for the development and functioning of all living things.

In more technical terms, a gene is a locatable region of genomic sequence, corresponding to a unit of inheritance, and is associated with regulatory regions, transcribed regions and/or other functional sequence regions. The physical development and phenotype of organisms can be thought of as a product of genes interacting with each other and with the environment. A concise definition of a gene, taking into account complex patterns of regulation and transcription, genic conservation and non-coding RNA genes, has been proposed by Gerstein et al.: "A gene is a union of genomic sequences encoding a coherent set of potentially overlapping functional products".

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA