Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What you need to know about the new Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the emergency use of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot coronavirus vaccine, adding a third weapon to the arsenal the United States is building to battle the pandemic.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Russia detects first case of H5N8 avian flu in humans

Russia said Saturday that its scientists had detected the world's first case of transmission of the H5N8 strain of avian flu from birds to humans and had alerted the World Health Organization.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Platelets may play key role in development of lupus

Platelets may play a key role in the development of lupus, according to a study published today by researchers at Université Laval and CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center. Extracellular DNA circulating in the ...

Vaccination

Different types of COVID-19 vaccines: How they work

Curious about how mRNA vaccines and other types of COVID-19 vaccines can help you develop immunity to the COVID-19 virus? Understand how different technologies work with the immune system to provide protection.

Vaccination

5 reasons to wear a mask even after you're vaccinated

As an emergency physician, Dr. Eugenia South was in the first group of people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. She received her second dose last week —even before President Joe Biden.

Oncology & Cancer

Spontaneous cell fusions amplify genetic diversity within tumors

Evolution within groups of tumor cells follows the principles of natural selection, as evolution in pathogenic microbes. That is, the diversity of cellular characteristics within a group leads to differences in the ability ...

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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