Explore traits, the characteristics that make us unique.
Get to know the molecule that holds the instructions for building every living thing.
Find out how the DNA code letters A, C, G, and T make a DNA molecule by building one yourself.
See how cells "read" the information in a DNA sequence to build a protein, then build one yourself!
Learn about environmental factors, and how they work together with genes to shape our traits.
See how scientist follow a series of clues to figure out how genes and the environment influence our traits.
Visit the following pages to learn about inherited conditions that are caused mainly by variations in single genes:
Take a look at how variation occurs.
Make a mutation in a gene, then watch how it changes the protein it codes for.
Follow the effects of a gene variation from DNA to trait.
Learn how traits pass from parents to offspring.
Learn about the relationships among chromosomes, genes, and DNA molecules.
See how variations in genes, called alleles, are shuffled with each generation to make new gene combinations.
The terms dominant and recessive can make inheritance seem confusing. For a new perspective on these terms, visit: What Really Makes a Trait Dominant or Recessive?
Learn about proteins, the molecules we're made of.
Walk through protein synthesis with this animated example.
Explore the types of proteins and learn about their varied functions.
Different versions of a gene (alleles) can code for proteins that work a little differently. See how this plays out inside a cell!
Molecular genetics and classical (or Mendelian) genetics are just two different views of the same processes.
Thinking in terms of protein function can demystify these confusing terms.
Explore these examples to see how small changes to DNA can lead to big variations in traits.