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What is a genome?

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A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism. In humans, a copy of the entire genome—more than 3 billion DNA base pairs—is contained in all cells that have a nucleus.

For more information about genomes:

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science provides background information about the human genome in its fact sheet The Science Behind the Human Genome ProjectThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference..

The NCBI Science Primer offers more detailed information about the structure and function of the human genome in the chapter called What Is A Genome?This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

Next: What was the Human Genome Project and why has it been important?

Published: February 11, 2013