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  • The basic functional units of heredity. Genes are nucleotides within the DNA that transfer biological information from cell to cell. These pieces of DNA occupy a unique location on a specific chromosome, and most genes control the production of proteins. The information encoded on genes determines how different cells in the body will function and, to some degree, the physical and functional characteristics that develop throughout an organism's life span. Humans are thought to have approximately 35,000 genes.

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