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What is a gene?


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 Biology   |   Science
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You've probably heard about GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms but what exactly is a gene and what does it mean to modify the genes of a plant or animal?

We hear about DNA and genes all the time in the news and in our biology classes but very few of us can actually explain what a gene is? This short film is designed to help.

Here we discuss a basic definition of a gene, show what a gene looks like, what it is that genes actually code for, and the basic idea behind Genetically Modified Organisms.

The video also briefly mentions one of the ways DNA strongly suggests that all living things are related and share an evolutionary history.

Even though the content given here is just a simplified overview of genetics, after watching this video (along with our first video on DNA you should be able to easily follow any news article, basic conversation, or 100 level college course lecture on genetics, even if you've never taken a biology course or studied genetics in the past.

Special thanks to Hip Hop Artist Anthony Danzl for the music

Happy 50th to Packy the freckled Elephant from the Portland Zoo. He just had his birthday and was featured in this video (at 0:45)

Content for this video has been modified from two text books:
Molecular Biology of the Cell, third edition:
Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, James D. Watson

Biology Eighth Edition:
Neil Campbell, Jane Reece, Lisa Urry, Michael Cain, Steven Wasserman, Peter Minorsky, Robert Jackson

Chimps and humans share 96% of their DNA comes from National Geographic:

Fruit flies share about 50% their genes with humans comes from NASA and NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information)

Hope you liked the video, more are in the works. Stay Curious!

Portuguese captions by Marcos André

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