Monday, June 8, 2009

What's in your genome?

A genome is just a word to describe all the genetic (inheritable) content of an organism. It is a way to describe a full set of chromosomes. Each cell in the human body contains a full genome. The cells are different because a different set of genes are active at any given time. That is why a liver cell and a skin cell look different and perform different functions and yet have the same genetic material. An exception are the germ cells (the egg and sperm) that contain half the the full set of chromosomes, so half of the genome. Just a few years ago finding out the sequence of a single gene was a big deal. These days the human genome is sequenced along with many other organisms making it possible to compare genes between species. Genomics (the study of genomes) is becoming an everyday thing. To keep up with all the latest news genomics news check out:the genome web.

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