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Thread: DNA and genes

  1. #1 DNA and genes 
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    Are genes made of DNA or is it the other way round? I often get confused about this.
    Is it that a chromosome is comprised of many DNA molecules and those ones which are located on the locus are the genes? I've heard that a gene is the 'long length of DNA'- What does this mean?

    Thanks


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Gene is a conceptual definition that often has as one of its components, a particular stretch of DNA.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Also, one chromosome is one long DNA molecule. Locus and gene have similar meanings, because they both define a specific area of the DNA molecule, as spurious said; but a gene codes for a protein, and a locus can be a protein-coding gene or a non-coding area of DNA.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Also, one chromosome is one long DNA molecule. Locus and gene have similar meanings, because they both define a specific area of the DNA molecule, as spurious said; but a gene codes for a protein, and a locus can be a protein-coding gene or a non-coding area of DNA.
    I always thought of a locus as a specific location on a chromosome, and a gene as a stretch which contains a protein-coding region as well as it's immediate regulatory sequences.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Also, one chromosome is one long DNA molecule. Locus and gene have similar meanings, because they both define a specific area of the DNA molecule, as spurious said; but a gene codes for a protein, and a locus can be a protein-coding gene or a non-coding area of DNA.
    I always thought of a locus as a specific location on a chromosome, and a gene as a stretch which contains a protein-coding region as well as it's immediate regulatory sequences.
    ...yes, but I don't see how that's different from what I said. 0_o You could say a gene is a type of locus.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Also, one chromosome is one long DNA molecule. Locus and gene have similar meanings, because they both define a specific area of the DNA molecule, as spurious said; but a gene codes for a protein, and a locus can be a protein-coding gene or a non-coding area of DNA.
    I always thought of a locus as a specific location on a chromosome, and a gene as a stretch which contains a protein-coding region as well as it's immediate regulatory sequences.
    ...yes, but I don't see how that's different from what I said. 0_o You could say a gene is a type of locus.
    It wasn't different, I was just trying to conceptualize it in a clearer way.

    And ya genes are loci.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    How come people speak of genes for homosexuality then?

    Clearly that definition doesn't fit within the classical one just mentioned.
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  9. #8  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    isn't that reporter-shorthand for "i don't know what causes homosexuality, but i've heard that a genetic component features as part of the explanation" ?
    they probably couldn't care less what exactly a gene is, apart from the latest buzzword when reporting science
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Well, reporters heard it from 'scientists'.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    There have been several studies that have identified specific areas on certain chromosomes that display extremely high degrees of linkage with certain cases of male homosexuality. No single gene has been identified (one such identified region on Xq28 is large enough to contain several hundred genes), and even when one or two genes are identified in the future, exactly how and to what degree they contribute to homosexuality is another question entirely. Given that it's a complex behavioral trait there are probably many genes whose products and interactions all in some way contribute.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    yes, that is your opinion. That doesn't change the fact that these people see genes differently.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    yes, that is your opinion. That doesn't change the fact that these people see genes differently.
    ....I know. But you did say that "these people" got their information from scientists and I wanted to defend those scientists position. They're not the ones who twisted the information. The media went crazy after this study came out and proclaimed that "the gay gene" had been found, etc etc, even though that's a completely incorrect interpretation. Apparently the primary author even got a phone call from a man wanting to make sure it wasn't HIS fault that his son was gay, since this supposed gene was located on the X chromosome.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I don't actually think these scientists have a different position on the definition of gene than the reporters who parrot their viewpoints.
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