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A gene is a biological set of instructions which tells how a cell develops which determine the characteristics of an organism. Genes are located on cell structures called chromosomes. Chromosomes are like pieces of thin thread made up of protein and DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid).

Each organism has a certain number of chromosomes. Chromosomes exist in pairs. The members of each pair are similar to the size and shape. Organism Total chromosome No. of pairs Human 46 23 Deer 46 23 Fruit Fly 8 4 Corn 201 10 Algae 148 74 Though algae have more chromosomes than humans, they are not more complex than humans. It is the genes along the chromosomes, rather than the number of chromosomes which determine the characteristics of an organism.


Humans contain 23 homologous pairs of chromosomes. 23 Chromosomes were inherited from the father and 23 from the mother. Humans have 46 chromosomes which are arranged in pairs based on size. Chromosomes number 1 is the largest.


Di = two, Ploid = Chromosome number Most cells in the body are diploid cells because they contain two of each type of chromosome.


Ha = one Sex calls such as sperm of ova, are haploid cells because they contain only one chromosome of each type. 23 single chromosome in a sperm 23 single chromosomes in an ovum.


Sex chromosomes in mammals are called X and Y chromosomes. The Y chromosomes are smaller than the X chromosome and contain fewer genes. The genes in sex chromosomes determine the gender of the off spring as male or female. Sperm calls contain either an X or Y chromosome and 22 other chromosomes. Ova (egg cells) contain an X chromosome and 22 other chromosomes.

CELL DIVISION 1. two daughter calls are produced in each call division. The daughter cells are haploid cells. Each gamete contains only one of each type of chromosome. Mitosis Mitosis is a type of call division that produces daughter calls identical to the parent cells. The strands are made of sugars and phosphates. the resulting cell. A = Adenine 2. When the sperm fertilizes an egg. . the DNA molecule is double stranded which each base on one strand weakly bonded to its base pair on each strand. In mitosis. 2. has the correct number of chromosomes. Meiosis only occurs in special cells in the testicles which produces sperm or in the ovaries which produces ova (egg cells). DNA Chromosomes contain a substance called a deoxyribo nucleic acid (DNA). four daughter cells are produced in each division. Meiosis Meiosis is a type of cell division that produces daughter calls with half the number of chromosomes of the parent cells. These pairs are AT&GC. There are four bases: 1. The daughter calls are diploid cells. Mitosis occurs in almost all cells except in sex calls such as sperm of ova. In meiosis. The bases are made of nitrogen. The daughter calls receive an exact copy of the parent’s cell’s chromosomes. base Adenine (A) will only bond with Thymine (T) and base Cytosine (C) will only bond with Guanine (G). It is the genes in the DNA strands on the chromosomes that determine an organism’s characteristics. G = Guanine As a result of their chemical structure. the zygote. This bonding makes the two strands lock together in a “double-helix”. T = Thymine 3. C = Cytosine 4.

Cancer can be caused by tar in cigarettes or UV rays from the sun which damage cell in DNA. Proteins perform cell functions. Once a section is copied. The DNA copy is an exact replica of the original DNA. Start codon: . There are START codons which indicate the start of an amino acid and a stop codon which indicates the end of an amino acid. the DNA in the chromosomes copies itself in a process called replication. The albino has white-pink skin.COPYING DNA During mitosis and meiosis. Each amino acid has 3 bases. a) Bad mutations include cancer. T. Some mutations can cause death. The findings identified: a) 3 billion DNA bases: A. A gene consists of a section of DNA that tells the body what type of protein to make. Down syndrome (Tri 21 syndrome) Tri 21 is where a person has an extra chromosome instead of having a pair of chromosomes at chromosome 21. Any three bases form a triplet code for one amino acid.TGA . The DAN untwist and unzips. When replication begins. T. weak bonds between the pairs break. the old and new strand begins to form an identical copy of the original DNA. The number of mutations would be increased if exposed to nuclear/solar radiation or strong chemicals such as pesticides. With four different types of bases (A. . Mutations occur naturally.TAG MUTATIONS Alterations to genes are called mutations. The base order forms a genetic code which tells the type of amino acid used to make up protein molecules. G b) 32 000 genes c) 26 000 proteins Scientists using this genetic soup to attempt to treat genetic diseases. The three bases are called codons. A new strand begins to build on each of the old strand. Natural mutations include: 1. they have 3. b) Good mutations include seedless grapes and crops resistant to diseases. while others are beneficial. Sincde there are only 20 amino acids. 2. C and G) there are 64 possible combinations. GENOMES A genome is the total genetic content of an organism. most amino acids have alternate codons. replace faulty genes in plant and humans and make new medication. Approximately 1 in 1 000 000 cells contain a mutation in its DNA. Mutations that occur in body cells are not inherited. C. The difference between one gene and another is the order of the bases. white hair and red eyes. Mutations that occur in sex cells will be inherited and can affect the offspring.TAA . THE DNA CODE Organisms are different because proteins in their cells are different. Spare bases in the chromosomes match up with its complimentary base on the unzipped strands. Albinism Albinism occurs in organism born without any skin/hair colouring. The genome project ran from 1990 to 2003 and mapped the positions of the genes on out chromosomes. The diagram shows amino acids making up a protein chain. The altered gene has stopped the production of melanin which gives colour. The 20 different amino acids join together to make thousands of proteins.ATG Stop codons: .

For example: eye colour is controlled by at least 3 genes. b) The recessive gene is represented by a lowercase of that same letter. one chromosome is inherited from the mother and one from the father. some characteristics are controlled by a single gene with a pair of alleles. Phenotype is the physical characteristics of an organism. Both alleles are dominant and the offspring has a blend of mixture of the characteristics. Usually characteristics are controlled by more than two alleles. Of each pair. both alleles are expressed at the same time.INHERITANCE A gene is a hereditary unit which controls a specific characteristic. An allele is a pair of matching genes and is represented by a pair of the same letter: a) The dominant gene is represented by a capital letter. Heterozygous is when the two alleles of a gene is different. . Different forms of the same genes are alleles. MULTIPLE ALLELES In humans. Each chromosome may have hundreds or thousands of genes along its length. Several human characteristics determined by a single gene are listed: Characteristic Dominant Recessive Right / Left hand Right hand Left hand Hair line Widows peak Straight hair line Albinism Melanin produced No melanin Earlobe attachment Free Attached There are very few characteristics in organisms which are controlled by a single gene. Genotype is the type of gene in an organism. Eye colour is controlled by: a) A gene on chromosome 15 for brown – blue b) A gene on chromosome 19 for green – blue c) Another gene on chromosome 15 which affect the above genes This is called multiple alleles. For example. This inheritance pattern is called co-dominance or incomplete dominance. A gene is a small segment of a chromosome. CO-DOMINANCE Sometimes when an individual is heterozygous for a particular characteristic. The dominant gene overrides the recessive gene. Each allele (or matching genes) is found at the same location of each of the chromosomes in the pair. Homologous pairs are pairs of chromosomes which are similar in shape and size and carrying matching genes. Homozygous is when two alleles of a gene is the same. the gene that controls earlobes comes in two forms: one codon for unattached earlobes and the other for attached earlobes.

In humans. The normal ocolour vision is dominant and masks the faulty gene. She does not have the disease. GM plants and animals is a form of selective breeding in which the favored characteristic is selected and passed onto the offspring. Two examples of X-linked conditions are colour vision and blood-clotting (hemophilia). If a gene is faulty. The Y chromosome does not carry a dominant gene. The homologous pairs are chromosomes number 1 to 22. copy it and put it back to obtain the characteristic desired. This is because inheritance comes from the genes that are on matching pairs of chromosomes. Male and female carry a pair of each gene. a female is XX and male is XY. The family tree shows the pattern of inherited genetic disorder. CONTROLLING INHERITANCE Organisms that had their genes altered are called genetically modified (GM) plants or animals. For chromosome number 23. With this technology. humans can chose any gene. The allele for colour vision is dominant in humans. the X chromosome is larger and carries more genes than the Y chromosome. there are matching chromosomes with matching genes. then it may affect both the male and female. change it. 1) A male has a fault gene for colour vision of the X chromosome. . Gene technology is used to manipulate the DNA of an organism.PEDIGREES A pedigree is a flow chart that shows the relationships within a family over several generations. 2) A female has a fault gene for colour vision on an X chromosome but also has an allele for normal colour vision on the other chromosome. Symbols used when drawing pedigrees are: SEX-LINKED OR X-LINKED GENES Nearly all inheritance patterns are same for both males and females. The female is a carrier because she carries the fault gene but does not have the disease. These genes are X-linked and the characteristics are sex-linked. The plant or animal with the new gene is called transgenic. For chromosomes 1 to 22. therefore the male has the recessive disease of being colour deficient (or colour blind).

2. The recombinant DNA is inserted into a bacterium. Larger harvests because plants are more drought resistant and disease resistant. 1. GM crops have an in-built pest resistance which reduces the amount of pesticides used. A tiny amount of amniotic fluid is withdrawn. Plasmids are cut using enzymes. 5. Children born to women older than 35 years old have a greater chance of having genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. The modified genes are inserted into the cell genome of the plant or animal. 3. 2. MANIPULATING GENES Gene technology use naturally occurring enzymes to cut DNA and then join it back together. GM foods may be more healthier. The effects of humans consuming GM foods are unknown. A needle is inserted into the amnion which is a fluid filled sac surrounding the foetus. Cells are tested by the process of amino centesis. taste better and last longer. animal or human cell.BENEFITS OF GM 1. Pests will eventually become resistant to the in-built pesticides in GM plants. Bacteria cell divides and grow to produce many copies of the desired gene. 2. 3. . Genetic modification is not natural and may change the environment. RISKS OF GM 1. 3. TESTING THE FOETUS Prenatal testing involves testing the foetus for genetic defects before the baby is born. wool or milk. The foetal cells are tested for presence of Down syndrome and other genetic disorders. DNA is removed from a plant. The foreign gene is transplanted into the plasmid and rejoined to form a recombinant DNA. Circular pieces of DNA are called plasmids are removed from bacterium. The NDA is cut using an enzyme to isolate the desired gene. she may continue with the pregnancy or terminate the pregnancy before the legal limit of 28 weeks. 4. The woman is carrying an abnormal foetus. Animals produce more meat. 4. The cell will grow and develop into a plant or animal with the desired characteristics.