Bioscience in brief
What is a gene?
The Genetic Code
DNA carries the blueprint for life: all the information the cells need to build an organism, whether it is a human, a plant or a bacterium. But how is this genetic information stored?
DNA is composed of four different bases or nucleotides: adenine (A), thiamine (T), cytosine (C) and guanidine (G). The genetic code defines how three-letter words formed by these nucleotides specify the formation of an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, the most common functional products of genes. The genetic code is nearly universal: almost all living forms use it. This is why it is also called the language of life.
The process of converting the genetic information of genes into functional proteins is known as gene expression.