A gene is a string of DNA letters that encode a protein - the building blocks of our cells and bodies. One gene encodes one protein. Simple, right? But scratch the surface into the molecular details and it soon gets complicated. Ongoing research, including work by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, is unpacking some of this complexity across diverse organisms - and viruses - and helping to reshape what we mean by a “gene”.
Dr Ore Francis is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. One of three inaugural Excellence Fellows, Ore is exploring the proteins that are at the root of all life on Earth, answering questions about adaptation and evolution along the way.