What are genes?

What are genes?


Imagine that genes are like pipes of large pipe organ instrument - let's say that pipe organ instrument is our genome and the genes are certain pipes that are producing different tones. This pipe organ consists out of 30.000 pipes - the mentioned number is equivalent to the whole amount of genes in our body. Each pipe suits to one of the genes, that are stored in the form of DNA molecule in the nucleus of cell in our body.

Cells differ among themselves tremendously depending on their function. Scientists estimate that there is more than 200 different kinds of cells in our body which have in their nucleus the same genome but they are performing different operations and have distinct appearance.

Genes express themselves differently in certain cells and certain environments. Some appear in every human organ, some express in particular moment and in a special part. It is like playing a music with pipe organ instrument: a musician is always playing the same instrument (genome) but for each cell he chooses different combination of pipes.

You can also imagine genome as a really thick book that is written with simple alphabet. There are just 4 letters used: A, T, C and G. In genetics these letters are known as nucleotide bases and together they are forming DNA chain.

Similarly to the letters in the book these bases are forming words and sentences and their combination in DNA molecule is giving instructions to our body (to every cell) how to operate and how to function.

18 things you should know about genetics

What makes you you? Of course, genes make you you. And do you want to know more about genes? Here is a short clip that explains you things about genes, DNA and 16 facts that you should know about genetics. 






The page was last updated on:
7/13/2012