DNA vs Genome

DNA vs Genome. What’s the Diff?

When we talk about genes and genetics, we usually refer to our DNA. But Artist, the character in “We Want Our Genome Story,” says genome. DNA versus Genome — what’s the diff?

Let’s start with DNA — short for deoxyribonucleic acid. It’s a molecule. Genomes are made up of DNA molecules. It’s the inherited information that all organisms use to make and maintain themselves. When Artist talks about our genome, this is what she means:

nuclear DNA + mitochondria DNA = Your Genome

The molecules are found inside your cells in two places: in the nucleus and mitochondria. Long strands of DNA are wound tightly into 46 chromosomes in the nucleus (nDNA). Shorter pieces are in mitochondria (mtDNA), an organelle in the cytoplasm of the cell. FYI: Not every cell contains DNA. Red blood cells and cells in the skin, hair, and nails do not have a nucleus, so no DNA.

Got four minutes? Smart script and classy graphics in these animations; “What is a genome?” and “What is DNA?” explain how the parts of our genome fit together.