Your genome is your complete set of DNA – all the genetic instructions for you to grow, develop and function. These genetic instructions are encoded in 6 billion letters of DNA across 46 chromosomes that we inherit from our parents – 23 from each parent. Copies of your genome are contained within your cells.
Your genome includes all of your genes – sections of DNA that cells use as templates to make proteins and other molecules you need to function. However, the vast majority of DNA in the human genome is located outside of genes. This DNA is called non-coding DNA, as it does not encode functional proteins. Non-coding DNA often has other important functions, like regulating how and when genes are used, and controlling the transcription and translation of genes.
Differences in your DNA sequence, known as variants, can affect the way your body functions. Variants in genes can change the product that is made – they might cause the gene to produce a non-functioning protein, or sometimes no protein at all. Variants outside of genes can affect the switches that turn genes on and off – for example, a variant might cause a gene to be constantly switched on and producing its product at all times, rather than just when it is needed by the body.
In this video, learn more about your genome and the effects that variants in your DNA can have on your body.
Tags: video, DNA, gene, genome, protein, variant
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