What is a Gene, Heres the answer!

Brian Foley brianf at med.uvm.edu
Tue Feb 22 10:50:32 EST 1994

: In <1994Feb21.121336.4363 at reks.uia.ac.be> przemko at reks.uia.ac.be writes:

: > In article <2k8bfv$n18 at usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ef949 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Mark Petrie) writes:
: > >
: > >hi i couldnt help but notice all the many posts
: > >on the topic what is a gene, and what is life. Let me
: > >first say that im still a student of biology, but hope to
: > >join the ranks of a Phd canidate soon.. I recall from my notes
: > >in biology as the definition of a gene to be "Any unit of
: > >instruction for heritable traits. It is a linear sequence of
: > >nucleotides that call for the assembly of a sequence of specific
: > >amino acids into a polypeptide chain" 
: > >I think thats a pretty acurate descrition, and I dont believe
: > >there any any exeptions to my definition.
: > >                                                       Mark:)
: > 
: > except, perhaps, for the genes coding for tRNA and rRNA. Can't see
: > polypeptides there. Ah, and pseudogenes? Ah, another one, how about
: > viral genes that, from the same (well, almost) piece od DNA get you
: > different proteins depending on the frameshift.
: > Przemko
: > 
: Absolutely.  There are many genes that do not lead to a protein product,
: ribozymes in addition to those Przemko has listed above.  I also must add the
: point I made before; that all cis-acting sequences (promotors, enhancers)
: should be included in the definition of a gene as well as the actual coding
: sequence.  Looking back to the notes from my Eucaryotic Genome class, I found
: what I think is a great definition.  Hope my Professor doesn't mind:

:      A gene is defined as all of the cis-acting nucleic acid
:      sequences required for the production of a functional RNA.

:                                              -M. Gorovsky

: How about that?

	What about origins of replication?  They produce no RNA, but are
essential for survival.

: Rick Willis

*  Brian Foley               *     If we knew what we were doing   *
*  Molecular Genetics Dept.  *     it wouldn't be called research  *
*  University of Vermont     *                                     *

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