Our DNA is composed in a certain way, we call this the genetic information. We can, for example, use this to derive the hereditary characteristics.
Chromosomes and genes
Traits are inherited through genes. We get the genetic information from our DNA. This comes from the chromosomes, which are a kind of strands. This is where the genes are. And each gene is a piece of DNA, so a small piece of genetic information that we can discover. There are more than 20,000 genes. You inherit this from your father and mother.
The genes determine your characteristics
The gigantic long strand of base pairs can be divided into small specific units that determine the hereditary properties. Each unit, a gene, contains the genetic information for a protein and determines the expression of an individual’s hereditary characteristics.
Millions of bases per gene
The base connects to the complementary (additional) base of the other DNA strand. Through the connections of the bases, the so-called base pairs, DNA forms its characteristic double helix. The size of genes varies in humans from a few hundred to over two million bases per gene. Scientists have determined that humans have about 20,000 to 25,000 genes.
A gene has been found
It is regularly said in the media that ‘a gene has been found‘ in relation to a certain trait, characteristic or disease. What is often meant by this is that not only an involved gene has been found, but also that that function is influenced by a genetic variant.
Complete genetic information
It is also regularly said that ‘someone carries the gene‘ or ‘I have the gene that causes…‘. It sounds like not everyone would have this gene, but everyone has all genes, but not everyone has the same variants. The variant(s) of a gene that a person possesses determines how the trait that determines the gene is revealed. In this way we get more and more genetic information.