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The study of the human genome is about no less than a study of how organisms are created, how they function, how they maintain themselves, and how they grow, thrive, and change. The science has vast implications for the natural world and all its occupants.

What Is a Genome?

A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, encompassing all of its genes. Each genome consists of all the information necessary to build and maintain the organism.

In the human being, a copy of the complete genome is comprised of over 3 billion base pairs per copy. A base pair is defined as two chemical bases bonded together to form a rung on the DNA twisted ladder (the helix). Each strand has a spine of alternating sugar and ...

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