Gene - Research Article from World of Microbiology and Immunology

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A gene is the fundamental physical and functional unit of heredity. Whether in a microorganism or in a human cell, a gene is an individual element of an organism's genome and determines a trait or characteristic by regulating biochemical structure or metabolic process.

Genes are segments of nucleic acid, consisting of a specific sequence and number of the chemical units of nucleic acids, the nucleotides. In most organisms, the nucleic acid is DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), though in retroviruses, the genetic material is composed of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Some genes in a cell are active more or less all the time, which means they are continuously transcribed and provide a constant supply of their protein product. These "housekeeping" genes are always needed for basic cellular reactions. Others may be rendered active or inactive depending on the needs and functions of the organism under particular conditions. The signal that masks...

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This section contains 1,426 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Gene Encyclopedia Article
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