Gene: a stretch of DNA that can be transcribed into a functional RNA molecule. This RNA molecule is frequently, though not always, translated into a protein. Genes are always referred to as “functional units of inheritance”, which is not a fantastically intuitive concept.
This one was given to us by a German who used the Greek root “genea” which means “birth” or “race”. It’s the same root that prefixes “generation” and “genesis”.
Misconception: it is dangerous to talk of someone as “having” or “not having” the gene for Huntington’s disease. While it is true that someone with the disease has a different “form” of the gene than a healthy individual and that the two individuals could technically be said to have different genes, this type of phrasing perpetuates the meme that people with inherited conditions have an extra gene that healthy individuals don’t have. It would be less ambiguous to…
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