News tagged with genes

Related topics: genome · protein · cells · mutations · gene expression

Children's ability to detect sugar varies widely

Everyone knows that children love sweets, but ever wonder why some kids seem to want more sugary food than others? It could be because they need more sugar to get that same sweet taste. According to new research from the ...

Dec 14, 2015
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Team uncovers hard-to-detect cancer mutations

New research shows that current approaches to genome analysis systematically miss detecting a certain type of complex mutation in cancer patients' tumors. Further, a significant percentage of these complex mutations are found ...

Dec 14, 2015
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Suicide gene therapy kills prostate tumor cells

Results from a long-term clinical trial conducted by cancer researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital show that combining radiation treatment with "suicide gene therapy," a technique in which prostate cancer cells are genetically ...

Dec 12, 2015
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TET proteins help maintain genome integrity

Members of the TET (short for ten-eleven translocation) family have been known to function as tumor suppressors for many years, but how they keep a lid on the uncontrolled cell proliferation of cancer cells had remained uncertain. ...

Dec 09, 2015
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Gene

A gene is the basic unit of heredity in a living organism. All living things depend on genes. Genes hold the information to build and maintain their cells and pass genetic traits to offspring. A modern working definition of a gene is "a locatable region of genomic sequence, corresponding to a unit of inheritance, which is associated with regulatory regions, transcribed regions, and or other functional sequence regions " . In common usage, the term gene often refers to what is known more accurately as an allele.

The notion of a gene has evolved with the science of genetics, which began when Gregor Mendel noticed that biological variations are inherited from parent organisms as specific, discrete traits. The biological entity responsible for defining traits was termed a gene, but the biological basis for inheritance remained unknown until DNA was identified as the genetic material in the 1940s. All organisms have many genes corresponding to many different biological traits, some of which are immediately visible, such as eye color or number of limbs, and some of which are not, such as blood type or increased risk for specific diseases, or the thousands of basic biochemical processes that comprise life.

In cells, a gene is a portion of DNA that contains both "coding" sequences that determine what the gene does, and "non-coding" sequences that determine when the gene is active (expressed). When a gene is active, the coding and non-coding sequences are copied in a process called transcription, producing an RNA copy of the gene's information. This piece of RNA can then direct the synthesis of proteins via the genetic code. In other cases, the RNA is used directly, for example as part of the ribosome. The molecules resulting from gene expression, whether RNA or protein, are known as gene products, and are responsible for the development and functioning of all living things.

In more technical terms, a gene is a locatable region of genomic sequence, corresponding to a unit of inheritance, and is associated with regulatory regions, transcribed regions and/or other functional sequence regions. The physical development and phenotype of organisms can be thought of as a product of genes interacting with each other and with the environment. A concise definition of a gene, taking into account complex patterns of regulation and transcription, genic conservation and non-coding RNA genes, has been proposed by Gerstein et al.: "A gene is a union of genomic sequences encoding a coherent set of potentially overlapping functional products".

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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