- alleles- Alternative of a gene for a particular characteristic.
- amino acids- The building blocks of protein.
- autosomes- Chromosomes other than the X and Y. Chromosomes which
are not involved in determining the sex of an individual.
- bases of nucleic acids- Organic bases found universally in DNA and
- base pair- A pair of hydrogen-bonded nitrogenous bases that join
the component strands of the DNA double helix. Adenine pairs with thymine,
guanine pairs with cytosine.
- biology- The science that deals with the study of life.
- cell- The basic structural unit that makes up all living organisms.
- cell membrane- The outer boundary of a cell also known as the
- chromatin- Areas or structures within a nucleus of a cell composed
of DNA and proteins.
- chromosome- Histone protein and DNA structure found inside the
nucleus of a cell that contain the cell's genetic information.
- cytoplasm- The more fluid portion of protoplasm that surrounds the
- deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)- A polymer of nucleotides that serves
as genetic information. When combined with histone protein and tightly coiled,
it is known as a chromosome.
- diploid- A cell that has two sets of chromosomes; one set from the
father and one from the mother.
- double helix- The Watson-Crick model of DNA structure.
- gamete- A sex cell; a sperm or egg which contains half the genetic
information of the parent.
- gene- A unit of inheritance that, in the classic sense, occupies a
specific site (locus) within the chromosome.
- genetics- The science of heredity. The study of genes, how genes
produce characteristics and how the characteristics are inherited.
- genome- The total genetic makeup of an individual or organism. A
set of all the genes of an organism.
- haploid- A single set of chromosomes. Sperm and egg contain a
haploid set of chromosomes.
- heredity- The familial phenomenon where biological traits are
passed from parent to offspring.
- Human Genome Project- A 15-year, 3 billion dollar project conducted
under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health to map and sequence all
the DNA of a human prototype.
- Human Genome Diversity Project- A project designed to study human
diversity and will involve a worldwide collection of genetic material from
select indigenous people.
- karyotype- The chromosomal complement of a cell, individual or
species often shown as a picture of chromosomes arranged in order from largest
- locus- The spot or position on a chromosome where an allele is
- nucleus- The membrane-bounded structure found in a cell which
contains the genetic material.
- nuclear membrane- The structure surrounding the nucleus that
separates the nucleoplasm from the cytoplasm.
- nucleoplasm- The liquid matrix of the nucleus.
- protein- Macromolecules made up of amino acids.
- protoplasm- The living portion of a cell as opposed to the
non-living cell wall.
- X chromosome- A sex chromosome. Two X chromosomes comprise a
- Y chromosome- A sex chromosome. An X and a Y chromosome comprise a
- zygote- The cell or entity resulting from the union of sperm and
(From Concepts in Biology, Enger, E. D., et al., 1988 and A Dictionary of
Genetics, King, R. C., and Stanfield, W. D., 1997.)
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