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089

gene

OLogy Series
biology
card
089

gene

OLogy Series
biology

Have you ever wondered why you look like your parents, grandparents, or siblings? It's because of your genes -- the instructions for making you. Genes are sections of DNA, which is found in every cell in your body. You inherited half your genes from your mother and half from your father. Your parents got their genes from your grandparents. And so on. . .

Who shares exactly the same genes?

kids and their parents

identical twins

cousins

Are you right?

Correct!

Identical twins are natural clones. They develop early in pregnancy when the mother's fertilized egg splits in two. Each embryo contains the same genes.

Which creature has the most genes?

worm

fruit fly

human

Are you right?

Correct!

Scientists estimate that humans have about 30,000 genes, while flies have 14,000 and worms have about 19,000.

Most traits are caused by the combination of your genes and the environment you grow up in.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Few traits are caused by a single gene. There's no gene for creating a sports star or a rock star. It's the genetic mix and the environment that you grow up in that matter.

Humans and chimpanzees share about 98 percent of the same genes.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Chimpanzees are the closest living species to humans. Their genes are surprisingly similar to ours. That's why we have so much in common.

gene
Purpose: Genes carry the codes that make all living things.
Number: Humans have about 30,000 genes and carry two copies of every gene, one copy from each parent.
Characteristics: Genes come in pairs and are made of a chemical called DNA.
Why important: Genes carry the information that partly determines what makes you YOU!

Image credits: Kelvin Chan.