The development of science has allowed us to understand exactly how a living organism works, and what determines its functioning, why we look like our parents and what our features were originally laid down by nature. Many answers to such questions are embedded in DNA.
♥ BY TOPIC: 1 barrel – how many liters?
What is DNA?
Behind this abbreviation itself lies a rather complicated name for pronunciation – Deoxyribonucleic acid.
Initially, the Swiss biologist Friedrich Misher discovered the nuclein molecule in 1869. At first, it was considered a simple repository of phosphorus, and no hereditary information was applied to nucleic acid. Only in 1944, the DNA was rediscovered to the world, already as that carrier of hereditary information. Biologists studied the transformation of bacteria and proved that just deoxyribonucleic acid plays the main role in the process.
From the point of view of physics, DNA is a complex molecule that contains both hereditary information and is the actual instruction for the development of an organism from one universal cell. From it there are many others, highly specialized for certain tasks. In fact, DNA is not a molecule in the traditional sense. This is a double-stranded structure with hydrogen-bonded chains, which is much larger and more complex than an ordinary molecule. Such chains are based on blocks of nucleides, which contain the very instructions for the development of the organism. DNA tells each cell which proteins and how much to produce.
Moreover, in humans, 99.9% of the DNA matches. All our differences are formed only by that tenth of a percent of our “biocode”. You can imagine the amount of information stored in DNA, given the diversity of people. Even with banana, we have 50% of the DNA. And the scale of the molecule itself is impressive – if you untwist it, it will stretch over 2 meters. And in lilies and salamanders, the length of the molecules is ten times longer! But nature, with the help of bending mechanisms, placed DNA in the tiny nucleus of a cell.
♥ BY TOPIC: What should be the pulse of a healthy person and how to measure it.
Are the DNAs of men and women different?
Most mammals have two sex chromosomes each – females have two X, and males X and Y. The division into two species occurred more than 100 million years ago. In the Y-chromosome, the SRY gene is significant, which triggers the male type of development of the body. During fertilization, the egg connects to the sperm. From the mother, the child receives the female X chromosome (one of two identical ones), and from the father either Y or X.
The final combination of XX means the birth of a girl, and the combination of XY – will give life to the boy. So you should not blame mothers for having children of the “wrong” gender – the father’s body plays a decisive role in this.
It is logical that new knowledge prompts them to take advantage. If a person has discovered the very “brick” from which his body is built, then why not try to carry out perestroika or even create something new? This will be the medicine of the future, but for now, knowledge of DNA allows us to solve smaller problems. One of them is DNA analysis, which allows to decrypt some of its information. Back in 2003, scientists said they found out the location of all the genes that determine our development and life.
♥ BY TOPIC: Why do not birds shock on wires.
What is the difference between genes and DNA?
Genes and DNA are usually identified, but these are different concepts. Genes are designed, with the beginning and end, part of the chain. It encoded proteins and RNA (ribonucleic acid), a single-stranded “mirror” of DNA. A characteristic nucleotide sequence is present within each gene. Genes encoding the structure and behavior of proteins occupy only 2% of all DNA. Another 1% of the genes encode RNA. About 80% of all genes provide ancillary functions, including compact DNA packaging. But what the fifth part of DNA is responsible for, scientists have not yet understood.
♥ BY TOPIC: How many calories you need per day to lose weight for a man or woman, how to calculate.
How is a gene different from a genome?
All the hereditary material of the body, in which there are 3.1 billion pairs of nucleotides, is called the genome.
The process of constructing new proteins from suitable 20 amino acids is carried out by the movement of the ribosome along RNA. But the four nucleotides present in DNA are not enough for this coding. Nature has found a way out – it does not use the nucleotides themselves, but their sequences of three elements – the genetic code. This approach allows you to program as many as 64 amino acids. And although nature does not need so much, scientists have already thought about the potential of amino acids.
♥ BY TOPIC: What is a placebo, how does it work, and is there really an effect?
What is needed for DNA analysis?
DNA analysis has become popular not only in medicine, but also in forensics, allowing you to prove the participation of a suspect in a crime. Today, more and more, such a study is mentioned on scandalous talk shows, where they find out paternity. Comparison of the DNA of the child and its potential parent is almost 100% gives an answer about a possible relationship. Moreover, the analysis does not require a complex sampling of biomaterial. DNA is found in almost all living cells: in saliva, blood, sperm, epithelium, and earwax. But in order to get a reliable result, it is better to donate blood from a vein for analysis directly to the laboratory. The analysis itself is carried out in several stages and requires the use of technological equipment and special reagents. That is why the DNA test is carried out in large clinics in big cities, but the biomaterial (a piece of nail, a cotton swab in a test tube, traces of saliva) can be sampled on site and then sent by mail. And although such a test will not have legal force, the result will be quite accurate.
During the reading of a molecule, it is first isolated, then repeatedly copied and cut into pieces for analysis. Nitrogenous bases are tinted with a special luminous dye, which is recognized by laser scanning. Several DNA analysis methods have already been developed; they are constantly improving due to the modernization of devices and the improvement of computer programs. This allows you to gradually reduce the cost of such an analysis.
Our DNA is a real storehouse of information and, perhaps, the very magic wand that will allow us in the future to at least fight against hereditary diseases and, at the very least, to modernize our body. And if immortality is a moot point that nature opposes, then studying DNA can help prolong our life and improve its quality.