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all of a living thing's genetic material; the entire set of hereditary instructions for building, running, and maintaining an organism, and passing life on to the next generation. Genomes are divided into chromosomes, chromosomes contain genes, and genes are made of DNA.
Imagine that the genome is a book. [In humans] there are twenty-three chapters, called chromosomes. Each chapter contains several thousand stories, called genes. Each story is made up of paragraphs, called exons, which are interrupted by advertisements called introns. Each paragraph is made up of words, called codons. Each word is written in letters called bases. ~Matt Ridley