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Simplified definition

A portion of a person’s DNA that contains the information on the physical and biological traits they inherit from their parents.

Source: Houria Aiouaz, for Alzheimer Foundation

Referenced definition

” A specific sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that is located usually on a chromosome and that is the functional unit of inheritance controlling the transmission and expression of one or more traits by specifying the structure of a particular polypeptide and especially a protein or controlling the function of other genetic material.”

Source: Merriam-Webster. Gene. [Internet]. [cited on Sept 7, 2022]. 



“Every person has two copies of each gene, one inherited from each parent. Most genes are the same in all people, but a small number of genes (less than 1 percent of the total) are slightly different between people.”

Source: MedlinePlus. What is a gene. [Internet]. [cited on Sept 7, 2022].


  • Genes produce the proteins that make up the human body.
  • There are different genes: a gene that determines the color of the eyes, one to determine blood type, etc.
  • A version of a gene is called an “allele”.



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