Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Interactives -- DNA

Human Genome : Genes and Transcription

The human genome was found to contain approximately 30,000 genes, spread out over 46 chromosomes. Only 1.5 percent of the DNA in the genome actually codes for genes. Half of the remaining 98.5 percent of DNA is made up of transposable elements, or DNA that can copy itself within the genome much like a virus can (although most of these transposable elements are so damaged that they can no longer copy themselves).

What happens to the remaining DNA in the genome? Before answering that question, consider the following: A cell cannot use the information in a gene unless the information it contains can be turned into a product, such as a protein. A cell accomplishes this through the process of transcription.

Now what do you think happens to the remaining DNA in the genome? It includes repeated sequences and DNA that regulates when and where genes are transcribed.


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