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Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative

Visit the database of genomic characterization data for multiple tumor types.

CGAP Slide Tour

Slide 1 - Genes and The Building Blocks of Life

central dogma

Because cancer is a genetic disease, it is important to understand what genes are and how they work. Each cell in the body contains a complete copy of the genome--the inherited genetic instructions that make us who we are. This genetic material, made of double-helical DNA molecules, is thought to contain approximately 100,000 individual genes. When genes are expressed, they produce transient messengers (mRNAs), which ultimately make proteins, the building blocks of the body.

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