Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Physicians
Health Library
Back to Health Library   Print This Page Print    Email to a Friend Email

Definition:

A gene is a short piece of DNA, which tells the body how to build a specific protein . There are approximately 30,000 genes in each cell of the human body. The combination of all genes makes up the blueprint for the human body and its functions.

A person's genetic makeup is called a genotype.



Information:

Genes are located on strands of DNA, just like beads on a string. The DNA strands make up the chromosomes .

Chromosomes contain matching pairs of one copy of a specific gene. The gene occurs in the same position on each chromosome.

In females, one sex chromosome gets its gene from the mother, the other matching sex chromosome has the gene from the father.

In males, a single X chromosome comes from the mother and a non-matching Y chromosome comes from the father.

Genetic traits, such as eye color, are described as dominant or recessive:

  • Dominant traits are controlled by one gene in the pair.
  • Recessive traits require both genes in the gene pair to work together to control the trait.

Many personal characteristics, such as height, are determined by more than one gene. However, some diseases, such as sickle cell anemia , can be caused by a change in a single gene. For detailed information, see heredity and disease .

See also:




Review Date: 2/20/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Find What You Need

Events
Careers
Foundation
About Us
Contact
Directions
News
Social Media Agreement
Joint Notice
Web Privacy Policy
WDH Staff Portal

Centers & Services

Cancer Center
Cardiovascular Care
Joint Replacement
Women & Children's
Physician Offices
Other Services

Conditions & Treatments

Health Library

Support Services

Support Groups
Care-Van
Dental Center
Social Work
Food & Nutrition
Integrative Wellness
Spiritual Care
Concerns & Grievances
Homecare and Hospice

For Patients

Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Interpreter Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Record Request
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials

For Healthcare Professionals

Work and Life
Financial Well-Being
Career and Growth

The Wentworth-Douglass Health System includes:

 

Address

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100