Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
In biology, an organ (from the Latin "organum" meaning an instrument or tool) is a collection of tissues that structurally form a functional unit specialized to perform a particular function. Your heart, kidneys, and lungs are examples of organs.
Organ is the name we give to functional elements in the body and quite often they are also physically distinct such as your kidneys, your liver, your heart. Those are all defined by a shape and a location in your body and they are also defined by a function. Your stomach and your gastrointestinal tract are both organs and they process food. Your lungs are also organs and they exchange oxygen and CO2. And your heart is another organ which is essentially a pump.
Name: Lawrence C. Brody, Ph.D.
Occupation: Chief & Senior Investigator, Genome Technology Branch; Head, Molecular Pathogenesis Section
Biography: Dr. Brody investigates the genetics of breast cancer and neural tube defects. As chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch's Molecular Pathogenesis section, he is interested in studying genetic mutations that lead to perturbations in normal metabolic pathways and cause disorders such as cancer and birth defects. His laboratory investigates mutations in two breast cancer-linked genes, breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). Dr. Brody's laboratory was among the first to report that women carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer than women without such mutations.