DNA

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a substance containing genetic information that is found inside the center (nucleus) of cells. DNA determines what features a person inherits from his or her parents, such as blood type, hair color, eye color, and other characteristics.

Chromosomes are parts of body cells that carry the DNA. Each person's DNA contains tens of thousands of genes.

Defects in DNA are called genetic or chromosome defects or disorders. These defects may cause changes in certain body processes or functions. These changes may be harmless and undetectable, or they may cause genetic diseases or disorders, such as hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, or Down syndrome.

Last Updated: November 4, 2009

Author: Maria Essig

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.