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DNA vs. Genes: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 2, 2024
DNA is the molecule that carries genetic instructions in living organisms. Genes are specific sequences of DNA that code for traits.

Key Differences

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a long molecule containing the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning, and reproduction of all known living organisms. Genes are segments of DNA that are coded with specific instructions to direct cells to produce particular proteins, influencing individual traits.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
DNA is composed of two strands forming a double helix, with nucleotides containing bases adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine. Genes are composed of specific sequences of these nucleotides in DNA and are located on chromosomes within the cell nucleus.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024
DNA is the material that is inherited from parents to offspring, carrying the genetic information of an organism. Genes are functional units of DNA that determine specific traits or characteristics through their expression as proteins.
Huma Saeed
Jan 02, 2024
DNA as a whole can vary widely among individuals, with these variations contributing to genetic diversity. Genes can undergo mutations, which are changes in their DNA sequence, leading to variations in the traits they control.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024
DNA serves as the blueprint for the organism, encompassing all genetic information. Genes are specific parts of this blueprint, each responsible for a particular function or trait in the organism.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

The molecule carrying genetic instructions.
Segments of DNA coding for specific traits.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Composition

Double helix structure with nucleotides.
Specific sequences of nucleotides in DNA.
Huma Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

Function

Carries genetic information of an organism.
Determine specific traits or characteristics.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Location

Found in cell nuclei and mitochondria.
Located on chromosomes within DNA.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Variability

Variation contributes to genetic diversity.
Mutations lead to trait variations.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024
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DNA and Genes Definitions

DNA

The fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something, especially when regarded as unchangeable.
The DNA of a species defines its unique characteristics.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Genes

A part of a chromosome that controls or influences the appearance, growth, etc., of a living thing.
Genes play a crucial role in plant and animal breeding.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

DNA

A molecule that contains the instructions an organism needs to develop, live, and reproduce.
DNA mutations can lead to evolution over generations.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 15, 2023

Genes

A unit of heredity that is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring.
Genes determine eye color in humans.
Huma Saeed
Dec 15, 2023

DNA

The self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes.
Scientists study DNA to understand genetic disorders.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 15, 2023

Genes

A segment of DNA responsible for the physical and inheritable characteristics or phenotype of an organism.
Scientists have identified genes related to certain diseases.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

DNA

A molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions.
DNA sequencing has revolutionized biological research.
Janet White
Dec 15, 2023

Genes

A sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that encodes the synthesis of a gene product, either RNA or protein.
Gene therapy aims to treat genetic disorders.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

DNA

The carrier of genetic information in the form of a double helix.
DNA fingerprinting is used in forensic science.
Janet White
Dec 15, 2023

Genes

The molecular unit of heredity of a living organism.
Researchers study genes to understand inherited traits.
Janet White
Dec 15, 2023

DNA

A nucleic acid that carries the genetic information in cells and some viruses, consisting of two long chains of nucleotides twisted into a double helix and joined by hydrogen bonds between the complementary bases adenine and thymine or cytosine and guanine. DNA sequences are replicated by the cell prior to cell division and may include genes, intergenic spacers, and regions that bind to regulatory proteins.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

Genes

A hereditary unit consisting of a sequence of DNA that occupies a specific location on a chromosome and is transcribed into an RNA molecule that may function directly or be translated into an amino acid chain. Genes undergo mutation when their DNA sequences change.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

DNA

Alternative form of DNA
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

Genes

Plural of gene
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

DNA

Abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid; - more commonly used than the full name. See also RNA.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

DNA

(biochemistry) a long linear polymer found in the nucleus of a cell and formed from nucleotides and shaped like a double helix; associated with the transmission of genetic information;
DNA is the king of molecules
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

What are genes?

Specific DNA sequences that code for traits.
Huma Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

How is DNA related to genes?

Genes are segments of DNA.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

How do genes influence traits?

They code for proteins that determine traits.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Can genes be turned on and off?

Yes, through gene expression mechanisms.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

Can genes exist outside of DNA?

No, genes are part of DNA.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

What is DNA?

A molecule containing genetic instructions for living organisms.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

What is DNA sequencing?

Determining the exact order of nucleotides in DNA.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

Are genes responsible for all characteristics?

They contribute significantly, along with environmental factors.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

How does DNA relate to evolution?

DNA mutations and variations contribute to evolutionary changes.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

What role does DNA play in heredity?

It transmits genetic information from parents to offspring.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

Do all organisms have DNA?

Almost all, with few exceptions like some viruses.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

How many genes are in the human genome?

Approximately 20,000-25,000 genes.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024

How long is human DNA?

If stretched out, about 2 meters in each cell.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

What is a gene mutation?

A change in the DNA sequence of a gene.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024

Is DNA the same in every cell of a body?

Yes, except for mutations.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024

Can DNA change over time?

Yes, through mutations and evolutionary processes.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Can genes be transferred between organisms?

Yes, in processes like genetic engineering.
Sara Rehman
Jan 02, 2024

Can we inherit genes from our grandparents?

Indirectly, as genes are passed down from parents.
Janet White
Jan 02, 2024

What is the role of DNA in medicine?

Understanding diseases, developing treatments, and personalized medicine.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 02, 2024

Are all genes active at all times?

No, gene expression varies based on many factors.
Harlon Moss
Jan 02, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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