The DNA that makes up the human genome can be subdivided into information bytes called genes. Each gene encodes a unique protein that performs a specialized function in the cell. The human genome contains more than 25,000 genes.
Cells use the two-step process of transcription and translation to read each gene and produce the string of amino acids that makes up a protein. The basic rules for translating a gene into a protein are laid out in the Universal Genetic Code.