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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.


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


—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.


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


—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.


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


—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.


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


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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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