SCIENCE - DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA.  

 

What is DNA? 

DNA is Deoxyribonucleic acid. If you don’t understand that word, that’s ok! I didn’t at first, either. Deoxyribonucleic acid are two chains that coil around each other to make a double helix. They carry genetic code that will be used to grow, develop, function, and reproduce in all living organisms. They can also be found in viruses.  

 

DNA has sides that hold it together. They are made of sugar and phosphate molecules. The sides hold together rungs (like a ladder). Those are made of adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine, or nitrogen bases. Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, and Cytosine code the patterns that bring information. Adenine will always share a rung with thymine, and guanine will always share a rung with cytosine.  

 

DNA also replicates. When enzymes are introduced to DNA molecules, they “unzip” the molecule by separating the molecule in half. The enzyme that performs this is called a polymerase.  

 

If you are looking for DNA, you’ll find it all over you! It is located in the center of the nucleus of every cell on your body.  

 
Why does it matter to genetics? 

Let’s start with this, offspring of organisms grow up to look like one or both of their parents. This is because they inherit information from their parents (DNA) that tells them how to grow.  

 
The inherited info is located in the nucleus. The info is coded in the DNA molecule. Those molecules are coiled into compact structures called chromosomes. Chromosomes are always present in almost identical pairs. The chromosome’s location affect’s the features of organisms are called genes, used in genetics.  

 

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Zoe Bundy