Genetics is a discipline of biology that studies genes and the passing of characteristics from one generation to the next which is known as heredity. The process of heredity is what causes children to look like their parents and is determined by genes found within the cells of organisms.

The passing on and expression of genes influence both an organisms physical appearance and behavior. The expression of genes is also influenced by the external environment. A large degree of genetic work focuses on DNA, the molecule genes are made of, and how it controls the reactions which eventually lead to the expression of certain characteristics within an organism.


DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the material that makes up genes and is found in all living cells. It holds the information that is used by cells to build proteins and other molecules which carry out processes that keep the cell alive.

Genetic inheritance

Genetic inheritance is a basic principle of genetics. It explains how characteristics are passed from generation to generation. Genetic material in the form of DNA holds information for the expression of a huge number of different traits.


Chromosomes are genetic structures found in cells during cell division. A chromosome is made from tightly packed strands of DNA and a huge number of proteins called histones.

DNA replication

DNA replication is an essential part of cell division and the growth of organisms. The process of DNA replication uses two old strands of DNA as templates to create new strands of DNA.

Transcription and translation

Genes provide information for building proteins. They don’t however directly create proteins. The production of proteins is done through two processes: transcription and translation.