Skip to Content
View Additional Content In This Section
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a substance containing genetic
information that is found inside the center (nucleus) of most body 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. The DNA of each chromosome is divided up into genes. Each
person's DNA contains tens of thousands of genes.
Changes (mutations) can occur in the DNA of genes or chromosomes. These changes may be harmless and undetectable. Or the changes may affect certain body processes or
functions to cause
genetic conditions, such as hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, or Down
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.