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Genes

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Genes

Genes are segments of DNA located on chromosomes.

Image: Genome Management Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Definition: Genes are segments of DNA located on chromosomes. Genes exist in alternative forms called alleles. Alleles determine distinct traits that can be passed on from parents to offspring. The process by which genes are transmitted was discovered by Gregor Mendel and formulated in what is known as Mendel's law of segregation.

Genes contain the codes for the production of specific proteins. The information contained within DNA is not directly converted to proteins, but must first be transcribed in a process called DNA transcription. This process takes place within the nucleus of our cells. Actual protein production takes place in the cytoplasm of our cells through a process called translation.

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