San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Exhibits

GlossaryDNA Fingerprinting, Photo courtesy of GENOME: The Secret of How Life Works Exhibition

allele: one of two or more versions of a gene from the same chromosome

bases: four main chemical ingredients of DNA

biotechnology: scientific transfer of beneficial genetic traits from one species to another to enhance or protect an organism

cell: the basic unit of all living things

cell membrane: a thin layer surrounding the cell that regulates materials entering and leaving the cell

chromosome: one of the bodies of a cell nucleus that contains the genes

clone: individual organism grown from a single body cell of its parent and that is genetically identical to its parent

DNA: acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid; DNA is a code within cells to form proteins

Info Twist 2,Double Helix, Photo courtesy of GENOME: The Secret of How Life Works Exhibitiondouble helix: the structure of DNA; a name for the characteristic shape of the two spiraling strands of complementary DNA

enzyme: a protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body without itself being permanently altered

gene: a hereditary unit composed of a sequence of DNA

gene therapy: the introduction of a gene into a cell for the purpose of correcting a hereditary disease

genome: all the DNA in an organism or a cell

mutation: a permanent structural alteration in DNA

nucleus: part of the cell that contains chromosomes and hereditary information, and controls the cell's growth and reproduction

protein: a large complex molecule made up of one or more chains of amino acids

RNA: a chemical similar to a single strand of DNA

ribosome: the protein factory; the site of protein synthesis