Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Gene'
n : (genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a
polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and
following the coding DNA as well as introns between the
exons; it is considered a unit of heredity; "genes were
formerly called factors" [syn: cistron, factor]
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Gene'
A gene is a unit of heredity in a living organism. It normally resides on a stretch of DNA that codes for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. All living things depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains. Genes hold the information to build and maintain an organism's cells and pass genetic traits to offspring, although some organelles (e.g. mitochondria) are self-replicating and are not coded for by the organism's DNA.
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 ". Colloquial usage of the term gene (e.g. "good genes, "hair color gene") may actually refer to an allele: a gene is the basic instruction, a sequence of nucleic acid (DNA or, in the case of certain viruses RNA), while an allele is one variant of that gene. Thus, when the mainstream press refers to "having" a "gene" for a specific trait, this may be incorrect. In many cases, all people would have the gene in question, but certain people will have a specific allele of that gene, which results in the trait. In the simplest case, the changes observed may be caused by a single letter of the genetic code - a single nucleotide polymorphism.[See more about Gene at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
Words and phrases related to 'Gene'
Meaning of the Name 'Gene'
- Meaning: Abbreviation of Eugene Wellborn.
- Origin: English
- Gender: Male
'Gene' in famous quotation sentence
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