What 'genes' means - a Genetic Disorders UK / Jeans for Genes Day film

Uploaded by JeansforGenesUK on 05.08.2009

Did you know that there are two kinds of 'genes' or 'jeans'?
The kind of 'jeans' you wear are dead easy to explain.
They're the ones that keep your legs warm and give you somewhere to put your mobile phone.
But inside your body are a different kind of 'genes'.
Your body is made up of lots and lots of teeny, tiny cells including your hair, your skin and your insides.
Every part of your body is made up of cells.
If you could somehow get hold of one of your cells and crack it open like an egg,
then somewhere in there you would find your genes.
Genes are a bit like gingerbread men, the basic ingredients are the same for everyone,
but there are tiny differences in the recipe that makes us all different from each other.
A bit like having different flavoured toppings!
Everyone gets their genes from their parents, which is why we all look a bit like them.
Except I'm not as old and bald as my dad...phew!
Other living things like plants and animals have genes too.
Some of the basic ingredients in their gene recipe are similar to yours, but other ones are found only in humans.
Did you know that you share around 98% of your genes with a chimpanzee and around 50% with a banana?
My mum says that the thing about recipes is that you have to follow them very carefully. Otherwise they don't work properly.
Genes are similar.
If one of the ingredients in someone's gene recipe is missing or if they have the wrong ingredient,
then it could mean they have to use a wheelchair, or only eat certain foods,
or take special medicines or all kinds of things like that.
But, differences in your gene recipe are not always bad news.
Sometimes they just mean that someone's eyes are blue instead of brown, or that their hair is straight instead of curly.
I guess we're all special and different in some way. Imagine what a boring place the world would be if everyone was the same.