Thompson, Margaret W. Departments of Medical Genetics and Pediatrics, University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Denniston, Carter L. Department of Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Vogel, Friedrich Institute for Anthropology and Human Genetics, Im Neuenheimer Feld, Germany.
Nyhan, William L. Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, California.
Last reviewed:March 2019
Show previous versions
- Chromosome and gene structure
- Single-gene inheritance
- Quantitative inheritance
- Hereditary diseases
- Chromosomal diseases
- Diseases with mendelian inheritance
- Multifactorial diseases
- Biochemical genetics
- Inheritance mechanism
- Inborn errors of amino acid metabolism
- Mitochondrial disease
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A scientific discipline concerned with genetically determined resemblances and differences among human beings. Human genetics analyzes all aspects of inheritance occurring in humans. Although the mechanism by which heredity operates remained mostly unknown until the twentieth century, the idea that certain physical and mental characteristics, normal or abnormal, can “run in families” goes back to ancient times. Formerly, genetics was thought to be concerned only with the familial transmission of rare and insignificant characteristics, but its fundamental biological role is now apparent. Genes, the units of heredity, have two unique properties: they are self-replicating, and they carry (in their biochemical structure) the codes for protein synthesis (Fig. 1). Consequently, genes play the double role of transmitting genetic information from generation to generation and of governing all the activities of living cells. See also: Biochemistry; Gene; Genetics; Human genome; Protein
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information