Are You a Genetics Whiz? Take Our Quiz & Find Out

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The quiz you are about to take covers some of the most fundamental and important facts about genetics including the structure and composition of DNA and some pivotal scientific figures whose important work opened the eyes of the world to what lies within our cells.

How Much Do You Know About Genetics?

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All Quiz Questions

  1. DNA is short for?

Deoxyribonucleic acid

Deoxyribonucleic amino acid

Deoxyribosome acid

Answer: DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid.

More facts: DNA was discovered by Swiss physician Friedreich Meischer in 1869. Due to its occurrence in the cell nucleus he originally called the material nuclein.

  1. How many chromosomes are in human somatic cells?




Answer: There are 46 chromosomes in most human cells. They are actually two sets of 23 chromosomes and we inherit one copy of each chromosome pair from our mother and one from our father.

More facts: The 46 chromosomes consist of two sex chromosomes that determine gender and 44 autosomes.

  1. Who discovered the fundamental laws of inheritance whilst attending to his garden peas?

Francis Crick

Gregor Mendel

Charles Darwin

Answer: Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) was the Austrian Monk who discovered the laws of inheritance by studying pea varieties in the garden of his monastery.

More facts: Mendel’s work did not receive widespread attention during his lifetime; it was not until the early twentieth century that the importance of his research was realized.

  1. What is an allele? Is it…?

A sub cellular organelle containing genes

An alternative version of a gene

A genetic mutation

Answer: An allele is an alternative version of a gene.

More facts: An individual inherits two alleles (versions) of a gene, one from each parent.

  1. What is a genome?

An organism’s complete set of DNA

A protein that modifies the action of a gene

The name given to a type of genetic mutation

Answer: A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA including its genes.

More facts: The international scientific research project known as the Human Genome Project discovered that humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. This was a much lower number than scientists had previously estimated.

  1. Which one of these scientists was not involved in determining the structure of DNA?

Rosalind Franklin

James Watson

Alec Jeffries

Answer: Alec Jeffries was not involved in determining the structure of DNA. He developed the technique for DNA fingerprinting.

More facts: Rosalind Franklin contributed to Crick and Watson’s landmark research on discovering the structure of DNA, but did not receive a Nobel Prize as she died in 1958 and the award is not given posthumously.

  1. Which of these is not a law of inheritance?

Law of Independent Assortment

Law of Averages

Law of Segregation

Answer: The Law of Averages is not a law of inheritance.

More facts: It was the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel who laid much of the groundwork for modern genetics with the two laws of inheritance that he derived, known as the Law of Independent Assortment and the Law of Segregation.

  1. Which of these is not a nitrogenous base?




Answer: Crinolene is not a nitrogenous base. The four nitrogenous bases found in DNA are guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine.

More facts: The “rungs of the DNA ladder” are made when bases pair with each other.

  1. In which part of the cell are proteins manufactured?

The nucleus

The ribosomes

The Golgi apparatus

Answer: Ribosomes are the sites of protein synthesis in the cell.

More facts: The DNA sequence of a gene is copied into messenger RNA which travels to the ribosomes. Proteins are created from the information stored in the RNA.

  1. If one DNA strand has the sequence 3’-AGGGCCTTATGC-5’ what is the sequence of the complementary strand?




Answer: 5’-TCCCGGAATACG-3’. This is because guanine (G) can only pair with cytosine (C) and thymine (T) can only pair with adenine (A). DNA is also antiparallel and so the 5’and 3’ of each strand are at opposite ends.

More facts: The two strands of DNA are held together by the hydrogen bonds between the bases.

  1. An organism’s physical characteristics are known as?




Answer: An organism’s physical characteristics are known as traits.

More facts: Traits are passed from generation to generation. We inherit traits from our parents and we pass traits onto our children.

  1. Which of the following statements about the inheritance of gender is correct?

An egg cell can have either an X chromosome or a Y chromosome

A sperm cell can have either an X chromosome or a Y chromosome

Males have two X chromosomes

Answer: The correct answer is that a sperm cell can have either an X chromosome or a Y chromosome.

More facts: The X and the Y chromosome are known as sex chromosomes. The female egg only contains the X chromosome whilst a sperm cell can house either an X or a Y chromosome. So it is the sperm cell that determines the sex of an individual. X and X = female, X and Y = male.