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Note: This factsheet has been designed as a post-session handout for learners taking part in a Genomics Game session, but can also be used as learning resources in other settings. See the full collection here.

Key facts

  • The genome is all the DNA in a cell. A copy of your genome can be found in nearly every cell in your body.
  • All living organisms have a genome. Most are made up of DNA apart from some virus genomes, which are made of a similar molecule called RNA.
  • A genome contains all the information needed to build that organism and allow it to grow and develop.
  • The study of genomes is called genomics. Genetics is the study of individual genes.
  • Whole genome sequencing is a technique used to read or map an individual’s genome.

Did you know?

  • The human genome is complex and, in most cases, unique to the individual.
  • Most of your DNA is found in the nucleus of the cell, but some is located in the mitochondria, which are the ‘batteries’ that power the cell.
  • DNA sequencing can look at a small part of a genome or all 3 billion letters in a whole genome.
  • The first human genome took 13 years to sequence. Today, this can be achieved in about a day. Analysing all this information takes a lot longer, however.

Find out more

Watch our animation: What is a genome?


Publication type

Education and training resources

Genomics Game

First published

27th June 2019

Page updated

18th November 2019

Document Download

Game factsheet 1: Sequencing the genome