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NIH

2008 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2008. The NHGRI Director and many genomics experts from across NHGRI took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy.


27
What is the definition of a gene?
     Pam Schwartzberg, M.D., Ph.D.: We study mouse models of primary immunodeficiencies (genetic diseases that impair the ability of the immune system to fight infections) and how specific disorders affect responses to infectious diseases. Our official definition is that a gene is the functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. However, the definition is still open with the recognition that many RNA's that are transcribed from DNA do not encode proteins.
St. Ignatius College Prep in IL (12th grade student)


< View ALL questions and answers from 2008



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