question on gene

Emery Dora emery at sfsu.edu
Thu Feb 22 14:21:04 EST 1996


In article <4gh3f1$3qd at hpg30a.csc.cuhk.hk>,
S957325 at cuhk.hk@cuhk.hk at cuhk.hk wrote:

> I have some questions about gene.  What is gene???  How many gene in our 
> body??  What are the functions of gene??  Will gene form another biological 
> components?
> 
> Is there any difference between DNA and gene???
> 
> Thanks for answering my questiuons
> 
> Linda

Linda-

   Basically, a gene is considered to be the 'functional unit of
inheritance.' What is meant by this is that a gene is the smallest unit
used to determine a phenotypic trait in an organism. The function of a
gene is to code for the formation of a polypeptide (protein) which will
serve a biological function in the host organism. There is a difference
between DNA and genes - genes are comprised of DNA, but not all DNA is
part of a gene. A gene is a discrete sequence of DNA which has specific
characteristics - i.e. promoter and enhancer sites, a start codon, an open
reading frame which specifies the sequence of amino acids in the final
translated polypeptide, intronic sequences which split the open reading
frame (in eukaryotes), and other specifics. Genes form the basic units of
other biological components - in other words, genes provide the
information needed to form all the biological components within an
organism, basically the blueprint for that particular organism. I hope
that helps.

Good luck-
                  -Emery

Emery Dora 
San Francisco State University

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