Most commonly used terms and definitions regarding
DNA science and Book of Mormon people.
Science Learning Center - a great online
tutorial about basic DNA science
Allele - One of the different forms
of a particular gene which occur at the same position on homologous chromosomes.
Amino acid - Organic molecule which serve as the
building blocks of proteins.
Autosome - Any chromosome other than the sex
Base - Molecular units, also known as nucleotides,
found in DNA; Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G), Thymine (T).
Biallelic marker - DNA markers which occur in only
two forms in a population
Bottleneck effect - Change in the gene pool of a
surviving population after a dramatic reduction in the size of a parent
Cell - Fundamental unit of living things; All
organisms are made of cells.
Chromosome - A threadlike structure found in the
cell nucleus, which contains a linear, end to end, arrangement of genes.
Clade - A group of individuals, features or DNA
sequences that are clearly related to each other.
Codon - A section of DNA, three nucleotides in
length, that codes for a particular amino acid.
Crossing over - Reciprocal exchange of genetic
material between homologous chromosomes.
Diploid - Containing two sets of chromosomes, one
set inherited from each parent.
DNA - (Deoxyribonucleic acid) A double chain of
linked bases which are the fundamental units of genes.
DNA lineage - A pedigree of related DNA containing
molecules (e.g. mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNAs).
DNA marker - Unique DNA sequences used to
characterise or keep track of a gene, chromosome or DNA lineage
DNA sequence - The ordered arrangement of the bases
Eukaryote - An organism having cells containing a
nucleus eg. fungi, plants and animals.
Fingerprint (DNA) Characteristic pattern of DNA
fragments obtained from an analysis of an individuals DNA.
Founder effect - Change in the gene pool of a
colonizing population because it is founded by a limited number of individuals
from a parent population.
Founding lineage (DNA) - A DNA lineage present in
the original founders of a population.
Gene - The fundamental unit of heredity; A segment
of DNA containing coded information for protein synthesis.
Gene pool - The total collection of genes in a
Genealogy - An account of the descent of a person
or family through an ancestral line.
Genetic code - The set of correspondences between
DNA base triplets (codons) in DNA and amino acids in protein.
Genetic distance - A measure of the relatedness
between populations based on gene frequencies.
Genetic drift - Changes in the gene pool of a small population due to
Genome - The entire complement of genetic material
of an organism, contained in its set of chromosomes.
Haplogroup - Group of related haploid lineages (haplotypes)
eg. mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA lineages.
Haploid - Containing only one set of chromosomes.
Haplotype - A haploid DNA lineage with a
Homologous chromosomes - Chromosome pairs
containing genes for the same traits at identical positions. One homologous
chromosome is inherited from the father and the other from the mother.
Human Pedigree - One's line of ancestors; an ancestral
line; ancestry; lineage, descent. Lineage - See DNA lineage.
Marker - See DNA marker.
Maternal inheritance - Inherited solely from the
mother eg. mitochondria.
messenger RNA - See mRNA.
Mitochondria - Organelles in eukaryotic cells
involved in energy metabolism.
Mitochondrial DNA - DNA contained within
Molecular Genetics - The study of the molecular
processes underlying gene structure and function.
mRNA (messenger RNA) - (messenger ribonucleic acid)
A single stranded molecule similar to DNA that facilitates the flow of
information in DNA to synthesis of proteins.
MtDNA - See Mitochondrial DNA
Mutation - Process that introduces changes into the
order of bases in DNA sequence.
Nucleotide - See Base
Nucleus - The chromosome-containing organelle in
Organelle - Body with specialized function, found
in eukaryotic cells.
Paternal inheritance - Inherited solely from the
father eg. Y-chromosomes.
Pedigree - A family tree drawn to show patterns of
relatedness between characters or individuals.
Polymorphism (DNA) - DNA sequence changes detected
between two different DNA sequences.
Polypeptide - A polymer (chain) of many amino acids
Prokaryote - An organism having cells lacking a
nucleus eg. bacteria.
Protein - Organic polymer constructed from chains
of amino acids
Ribosome - A cell organelle involved in protein
Sex chromosome - A chromosome that plays a role in
sex determination; A chromosome whose presence or absence is correlated with the
sex of the bearer.
Transcription - The transfer of information from a
DNA molecule into a messenger RNA molecule.
Translation - The transfer of information from a
messenger RNA molecule into a polypeptide, involving a change of language from
nucleic acids (RNA) to amino aicds.
Triplet - The three base pairs that comprise a
X-chromosome - Chromosome responsible for
determining female sexual traits of an individual.
Y-chromosome - Chromosome responsible for
determining male sexual traits of an individual.
Zygote - The diploid cell formed by the fusion of
an egg and a sperm.