gene is a molecular unit of heredity in a living organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living beings 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. All organisms have many genes corresponding to various 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.
The chemical structure of a four-base fragment of a DNAdouble helix.
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 acids (DNA or, in the case of certain viruses RNA), while an allele is one variant of that gene. Referring to having a gene for a trait, is no longer the scientifically accepted usage. In most cases, all people would have a gene for the trait in question, but certain people will have a specific allele of that gene, which results in the trait varian
The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering Genetic engineering is the growing science of the world and is increasingly under the spotlight over ethical issues. Is biotechnology going to save lives, rather than destroy them? and will the benefits outweigh the risks? The main problem with such questions is that we don't know the answer until we try them out. Like all sciences it is hard to predict ...