Blackwell Publishing

Molecular and Mendelian Genetics - What are the building blocks of life


Genes encode for proteins

The DNA can be divided into genes and other kinds of DNA. Each gene contains the information that codes for a particular protein. Different parts of the body have their distinct characteristics because of the kinds of proteins they are made of.

To a crude but workable approximation, then, bodies are built from proteins. Skin, for example, is mainly made of a protein called keratin; oxygen is carried in red blood cells by a protein called hemoglobin. It is ultimately by coding for proteins that DNA enables the egg cell to develop into an adult body.

Figure: the transfer of information in a cell.

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