NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms

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Welcome to the NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms, which contains technical definitions for more than 150 terms related to genetics. These definitions were developed by the PDQ® Cancer Genetics Editorial Board to support the evidence-based, peer-reviewed PDQ cancer genetics information summaries.

gene
(jeen)
The basic unit of heredity that occupies a specific location on a chromosome. Each consists of nucleotides arranged in a linear manner. Most genes code for a specific protein or segment of protein leading to a particular characteristic or function.