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Genetics Basics



Genes are segments of DNA located on chromosomes.

Image Credit: Genome Management Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Have you ever wondered why you have the same eye color as your mother or the same hair color as your father? Genetics is the study of heredity or inheritance. Genetics helps to explain how traits are passed from parents to their young. Parents pass traits to their young through gene transmission. Genes are located on chromosomes and consist of DNA. They contain specific instructions for protein synthesis.

Genetics Basics Resources
Understanding certain genetic concepts can be difficult for beginners. Below are several helpful resources that will assist in the understanding of basic genetic principles.

Biology Dictionary
Information on common biology related terms.

Chromosomes and Sex
Introduction to the basics of sex determination by the presence or absence of certain chromosomes.

Mendel's Law of Segregation
The principles that govern heredity were discovered by a monk named Gregor Mendel in the 1860's. One of these principles is now called Mendel's law of segregation.

Mendel's Law of Independent Assortment
This principle of heredity formulated by Gregor Mendel states that traits are transmitted to offspring independently of one another.

Sex Chromosome Abnormalities
Introduction to causes of sex chromosome abnormalities.

Basic Principles of Genetics
Tutorial on the basic principles of Mendelian Genetics.

Genetic Science Learning Center: The Basics and Beyond
Basic information on DNA, chromosomes and cells.

How Genetic Disorders are Inherited
Basic information on dominant, recessive and x-linked disorders from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Online Biology Book: Genetics
Introduction to basic genetics concepts.

Online Biology Book: Human Genetics
Introduction to basic human genetics concepts.

Online Biology Book: Protein Synthesis
Overview of genes and proteins.

The Science Behind the Human Genome Project
Information on genes and genome sequencing from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Biology Basics

For information on basic biology principles, see Biology - The Study of Life.

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