Smithsonian NHGRI Genome Exhibition

What's a Gene?

In 1909, Danish botanist Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word "gene" to describe Mendelian units of heredity. As researchers learned more, they began to define genes as a segment of a DNA molecule that contains information for making a protein or, sometimes, an RNA molecule. The term continues to evolve as scientists learn about the complexities of molecular interactions. Listen to some well-known scientists respond to the question, "What's a gene?"

 
 
Here are the interviews:
Ewan Birney, Ph.D.
European Bioinformatics Institute
Carlos D. Bustamante, Ph.D.
Stanford University Department of Genetics
Francis S. Collins, M.D.
National Institutes of Health
Elise Feingold, Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Alabama School of Medicine
Michael F. Murray, M.D.
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Heidi L. Rehm, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Marc S. Williams, M.D
Intermountain Healthcare
Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

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Last Updated: January 9, 2014