Glossary Terms

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The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.

Gene Expression

The process by which proteins are made by genes from the instructions encoded in DNA.


The study of genes and their effects on inheritance of specific traits and on other biological processes.


The complete genetic material of an organism—the entire DNA contained in an organism or a cell, which includes both the chromosomes within the cell nucleus and the DNA in cell mitochondria.