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What are genes?
Genes are like encyclopedias of our genetic information, segments of DNA that tell our cells how to function properly.
Genes have signals that indicate where they start, and the information they contain determines the composition of the proteins that are produced. They are located in chromosomes, which are found in the nucleus of our cells.
Each person has 23 pairs of chromosomes, with one chromosome in each pair inherited from their mother and the other from their father. Of these pairs, 22 are called autosomes and one, the so-called sex chromosome, influences our biological sex (XX for females and XY for males).
Chromosomes are made up of tightly packed DNA. The DNA of each cell consists of 3 billion nucleotide bases. These bases are the letters that spell out the genetic code (A-adenine, T-thymine, G-guanine, and C-cytosine) and determine the composition of the proteins that our cells produce.
Each cell in our body contains two copies of this genetic information, one inherited from each parent.