Genes are small sections of DNA within the genome that code for proteins. They contain the instructions for our individual characteristics – like eye and hair colour.
A genetic disorder is a disease that is caused by a change, or mutation, in an individual’s DNA sequence.
A genome is an organism’s complete set of genetic instructions. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build that organism and allow it to grow and develop.
GMOs are organisms that have had their characteristics changed through the modification of their DNA.
A mutation is a change that occurs in our DNA sequence, either due to mistakes when the DNA is copied or as the result of environmental factors such as UV light and cigarette smoke.
A stem cell is a cell with the unique ability to develop into specialised cell types in the body. In the future they may be used to replace cells and tissues that have been damaged or lost due to disease.
Telomeres are distinctive structures found at the ends of our chromosomes. They consist of the same short DNA sequence repeated over and over again.
Achondroplasia is a genetic disorder affecting bone development that results in short-limb dwarfism.
African trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease transmitted by the tsetse fly. It gets its nickname ‘sleeping sickness’ because symptoms can include a disturbed sleep pattern.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that slowly and progressively destroys the brain. It is also described as a complex disease because it can be influenced by a range of genetic and environmental factors.
Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria develop the ability to survive exposure to antibiotics designed to kill them or stop their growth.
By the mid-1990s, when the Human Genome Project was in full swing, scientists were sequencing DNA using capillary sequencers.
During clone-by-clone sequencing, a map of each chromosome of the genome is made before the DNA is split up into fragments ready for sequencing.
Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, is a complex disease that is influenced by multiple genes and environmental factors.
CRISPR-Cas9 is a genome editing tool that is creating a buzz in the science world. It is faster, cheaper and more accurate than previous techniques of editing DNA and has a wide range of potential applications.
Cystic fibrosis is a relatively common genetic condition in which the lungs and digestive system become clogged with thick, sticky mucus.
Dementia is used to describe a general decline in all areas of mental ability. It is caused by brain injury or diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
DNA replication is the process by which DNA makes a copy of itself during cell division.
DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is a long molecule that contains our unique genetic code. Like a recipe book it holds the instructions for making all the proteins in our bodies.
Down’s syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra copy of chromosome 21.
In biology, evolution is the change in the characteristics of a species over several generations and relies on the process of natural selection.
Familial adenomatous polyposis is an inherited cancer syndrome that predisposes patients to early-onset colorectal cancer, and some other cancers.
Fragile X is a common inherited syndrome that causes intellectual disability. It affects one in every 2,000 males and one in every 6,000-8,000 females.
Electrophoresis is a technique commonly used in the lab to separate charged molecules, like DNA, according to size.
Gene expression is the process by which the instructions in our DNA are converted into a functional product, such as a protein.
Gene therapy is when DNA is introduced into a patient to treat a genetic disease. The new DNA usually contains a functioning gene to correct the effects of a disease-causing mutation.
Genetic engineering refers to the direct manipulation of DNA to alter an organism’s characteristics (phenotype) in a particular way.
Genetic testing is an incredibly useful tool for identifying changes or mutations in DNA that could lead to genetic disease.
Genetic variation is a term used to describe the variation in the DNA sequence in each of our genomes. Genetic variation is what makes us all unique, whether in terms of hair colour, skin colour or even the shape of our faces.
Genome editing is a way of making specific changes to the DNA of a cell or organism. An enzyme cuts the DNA at a specific sequence, and when this is repaired by the cell a change or ‘edit’ is made to the sequence.
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