You can view a 3-D rotatable image of DNA here...
All genes are made up of stretches of these four bases (arranged in different ways and in different lengths).
A critical feature of DNA is the ability of the nucleotides to make specific pairs: . Adenine pairs with Thymine and Cytosine pairs with Guanine. We say A is complementary to T (and U) and C is complementary to G
The double helical structure of DNA, is due largely to hydrogen bonding between the base pairs (shown as green dotted lines in image to left), which link one complementary strand to the other
Hydrogen bonds between guanine and cytosine
human genome of Homo sapiens is stored on 23 chromosome
pairs. 22 of these are autosomal chromosome pairs,
while the remaining pair is sex-determining. The haploid
human genome occupies a total of just over 3 billion
DNA base pairs that means 6 billion base pairs per
How many genes does the Human Genome contain?
The Human Genome Project has revealed that there are probably about 20,000-25,000 'haploid' protein coding genes. The completed human sequence can now identify their locations. But only about 1.5% of the genome codes for proteins, while the rest consists of non-coding RNA genes, regulatory sequences, introns, and noncoding DNA (once known as "junk DNA").
Surprisingly, the number of human genes seems to be less than a factor of two greater than that of many much simpler organisms, such as the roundworm and the fruit fly -- see table showing number of genes for different organisms.
How many genes do other organisms have?
|chromosomes --diploid||base pairs||genome size (#genes)||Reference|
|fruit fly||8||1.65x10 8||13,600|
|human||46||3.3 x 10 9||~21,000|
|rice||24||4.66 x 10 8||46,022 -55,615|
|dog||78||2.4 x 10 9||~25,000|
|mouse||40||3.4 x 10 9||~23,000|
Humans though have on average three times as many kinds of proteins as the fly or worm because of mRNA transcript "alternative splicing" and chemical modifications to the proteins. This process can yield different protein products from the same gene. -------- Fruit flies share nearly 60% of human genes and are studied by
What do genes actually do?
A ribosome is the component of a biological cell that creates proteins from all amino acids and RNA representing the protein.
The human mitochondrial genome, while usually not included when referring to the "human genome", is of tremendous interest to geneticists, since it undoubtedly plays a role in mitochondrial disease. It also sheds light on human evolution; for example, analysis of variation in the human mitochondrial genome has led to the postulation of a recent common ancestor for all humans on the maternal line of descent.
How different is the human genome from one person to the next?
Scientists have identified about 1.4 million locations where single-base DNA differences (SNPs) occur in humans. This information promises to revolutionize the processes of finding chromosomal locations for disease-associated sequences and tracing human history. ref
The Science Behind the Human Genome Project Basic Genetics, Genome Draft Sequence, and Post-Genome Science
What Genes in the Human Genome cause Celiac Disease? - Genetics of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity