genetics

Cultural Dictionary

genetics definition


The study of heredity, or how the characteristics of living things are transmitted from one generation to the next. Every living thing contains the genetic material that makes up DNA molecules. This material is passed on when organisms reproduce. The basic unit of heredity is the gene. (See chromosomes; dominant trait; genetic code; Gregor Mendel; recessive trait; and sexual reproduction.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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