• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Genetics is the study of heredity. The basic unit of heredity is the gene, which passes traits from one generation to another. Genes are sequences of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) located in chromosomes (of which humans have 23 pairs). The total DNA in an organism is called the genome. The genes that are part of the genome make up the genotype. The expression of the genotype in the physical characteristics and functions of an organism is known as the phenotype.

A number of technologies have been developed in the course of genetics research. Recombinant DNA technology involves splicing a gene from one source into another. Using a genetically modified virus as a vector, which introduces a gene into a cell, often does this. This technology is used ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles