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The gene encoding Xenopus embryonic epidermal keratin XK70A exhibits a hybrid type I-type II intron pattern.

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JAMA Patient Page | Genetics: the Basics N U C L E U S DNA double helix G E N E TIC S The Journal of the American Medical AssociationJAMA PATIENT PAGE Genetics: the Basics G enetics includes the study of how human characteristics are inherited from one’s parents. It explains how traits as simple as eye color or as complex as susceptibility to diseases run in families. Genes are units of heredity passed from parents to offspring and are contained in a person’s cells—every human cell contains about 20 000 to 25 000 genes. Genes vary greatly from person to person and influence personality, intelligence, physical appearance, and other traits to a certain extent, but learning and environment play important roles as well. The March 19, 2008, issue of JAMA is a theme issue on genetics. This Patient Page is adapted from one published in the November 14, 2001, issue of JAMA. GENETICS TERMINOLOGY FOR MORE INFORMATION • Human Genome Project information • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention INFORM YOURSELF To find this and previous JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page link on JAMA’s Web site at Janet M. Torpy, MD, Writer Cassio Lynm, MA, Illustrator Richard M. Glass, MD, Editor 1388 JAMA, March 19, 2008—Vol 299, No. 11 Sources: American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, American Medical Association Family Medical Guide, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Human Genetics Programme (World Health Organization), National Human Genome Research Institute, Public Health Genetics Unit The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JAMA suggests that you consult your physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians an

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