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  • Information Metaphors and the Human Genome Project
  • Thomas Fogle
Thomas Fogle
Department of Biology, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Glossary of Genetics Terminology

alternative splicing

—mRNA transcripts that can be processed into multiple sets of domains that code for different polypeptides.

enhancers

—DNA regions either within or near a gene that elevate the rate of transcription.

epigenesis

—The sequence of developmental steps from zygote to the adult.

genomic imprinting

—Alterations in the DNA during gamete formation, probably from methylation of the nucleotides, that influence gene expression in the progeny.

heterochromatin/euchromatin

—Chromosome regions that stain dark versus light, respectively; most genes are located in euchromatin.

intron/exon

—Domains of an mRNA transcript; introns are removed and exons are spliced into a contiguous mRNA destined for translation.

TATA box

—The sequence of bases in the DNA recognized by the enzyme that initiates transcription.

transgenic

—The integration of DNA from one organism into the germ line of another.

transposition

—A section of DNA capable of moving from one location in the genome to another.

triplet repeats

—Tandemly repeated three-nucleotide sequences of DNA that increase in copy number from one generation to the next.

upstream/downstream

—Terms to reference a location on DNA relative to the site where transcription starts on a gene; the region transcribed is downstream.

References

1. GREEN, E. D., and WATERSTON, R. H. The human genome project: Prospects and implications for clinical medicine. JAMA 266:1966-1975, 1991.
2. WATSON, J. D. The human genome project: Past, present, and future. Science 248:44-48, 1990.
3. CRISOLIA, J. S. The human genome project and our sense of self. Impact of Science on Society 41:45-48, 1991.
4. LAMMERS, A., and PETERS, T. Genethics: Implications of the human genome project. Christian Century 107:868-875, 1990.
5. CARLSON, E. A. Defining the gene: An evolving concept. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 49:475-487, 1991.
6. ATLAN, H., and KOPPEL, M. The cellular computer DNA: Program or data. Bull. Math. Biol. 52:335-348, 1990.
7. MAYR, E. Teleological and teleonomic, a new analysis. In Methodological and Historical Essays in the Natural and Social Sciences, edited by R. S. COHEN and M. W. WARTOFSKY. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1974.
8. HANNA, J. F. Sociobiology and the information metaphor. In Sociobiology and Epistemology, edited by J. H. FETZER. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1985.
9. NAGEL, E. Teleology revisited. J. Phil. 74:261-301, 1977.
10. XING, Y.; JOHNSON, C. V.; DOBNER, P. R.; and LAWRENCE, J. B. Higher level organization of individual gene transcription and RNA splicing. Science 259:1326-1330, 1993.
11. SCRIVER, C. R. Presidential address: Physiological genetics—who needs it? Am. J. Hum. Genet. 40:199-207, 1987.

Ode to the Technician

O lowly technician!who knows thy name?but subbed slides and coverslips, pipettes and stains,which wait for your touch, the gift of the fewwho, through the years have passed down to the fewerscience keeper's secrets—the ways of the DOER,who respond to each call no matter the size . . .never small is it, though;you plod on, it's your duty—you now have to be grinning—to the end of that job which is,as you know,only another's beginning.

Joel A. Bezek
...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 535-547
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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