Chromosomes, Genes and DNA, which is bigger? Which contains which?


Google and previous gave me conflicting answers. Some said DNA are the biggest. Some said DNA are the letters, genes are the sentences and chromosomes are pages. Please help.

In: 5

DNA is the kind of molecule which carries genetic information. So like there are proteins, fats, carbohydrates and so on, and then there is DNA. It’s the medium. That medium is arranged in chromosomes, which are individual strands of DNA that you can see in a microscope, for example. They look like wiggly lines. Each chromosome has several hundred genes recorded on it. Every gene is an individual record which codes for one protein to be synthesized by the organism.

So you can think of chromosomes as books and of genes as paragraphs written in those books. While DNA would be like paper or text in this analogy. And your genome is a set of 46 books.

DNA is the name of the material that stores information in a sequence of *nucleotides*. Chromosomes are chunks of that material. Genes are sections of these chunks with specific meaning. Your *genome* is all the DNA you have, that’s what is colloquially meant as “someone’s DNA”.

So, DNA = “text”, genome = “book” (about some specific organism), chromosomes = “chapters”, genes = “sentences”, nucleotides = “letters”.

Chromosomes are structures used to store DNA.

DNA is the specific tool used to store instructions for building and running a body.

Genes are batches of instructions for specific things which are encoded in DNA.

So: The chromosomes make up an instruction manual for building you. The genes are individual sections of the instruction manual of varying length and purpose. DNA is the actual letters and words that make up the sections.

Very ELI5 but hopefully that gets the idea across.

DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid. That’s the chemical that is the basis of it. Think of this is the paper and ink that everything is written in. This chemical can form into long chains. So that “paper and ink” can be as long as you need it.

Chromosomes are the “books”. There are 46 chromosomes in a human cell. These chromosomes are individual long chains of molecules made up of the DNA.

Each of those chromosomes will have small sections that work together to form proteins. Those sections are the genes.



Genome can be sometimes called “DNA” as in “it is in your genome/DNA”

Genome is all of genes. But DNA is more of a material.