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An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell. 26 Isovaleric Acidemia DNA is a double helix formed by base pairs attached to a sugar-phosphate backbone. What Is Mitochondrial DNA? Although most DNA is packaged in chromosomes within the nucleus, mitochondria also have a small amount of their own DNA.

A change in the number of chromosomes leads to a chromosomal disorder. These 38 Isovaleric Acidemia changes can occur during the formation of reproductive cells (eggs and sperm) or in early fetal development. A gain or loss of chromosomes from the normal 46 is called aneuploidy. The most common form of aneuploidy is trisomy, or the presence of an extra chromosome in each cell. “Tri-” is Greek for “three”; people with trisomy have three copies of a particular chromosome in each cell instead of the normal two copies.

Through the processes of transcription and translation, information from genes is used to make proteins. Can Genes Be Turned On and Off in Cells? Each cell expresses, or turns on, only a fraction of its genes. The rest of the genes are repressed, or turned off. The process of turning genes on and off is known as gene regulation. Gene regulation is an important part of normal development. Genes are turned on and off in different patterns during development to make a brain cell look and act different from a liver cell or a muscle cell, for example.

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