This entry focuses on the discipline of genomics and its relevance to understanding the human life course. There is no unified definition of genomics, but typically, this discipline within the genetic sciences is differentiated from genetics by virtue of the former focusing on the structure, function, and evolution of the whole genome (the complete set of DNA defining a particular species), which defines the phenotype, or physical identity, of the organism, whereas the latter concentrates on general principles of variation and heredity in living organisms.

Genes, Chromosomes, and Genomes

Genes, chromosomes, and genomes are made up of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules, which carry the genetic instructions necessary for a living organism’s growth, development, functioning, and reproduction. Each DNA molecule itself consists of four nucleotide bases—adenine (A), ...

  • 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