Have you ever heard people say some of your friends looks exactly like his or her father, or mother? Look at you in the mirror; you may have some similarity in your look with your parents, or may be your grandparents. Sometimes your hair may be curly just like how your mother’s hair is. Or, may be your skin complexion is just like that of your father’s. Do you know why this happens? This is all due to an amazing thing in our cells called DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid). What do you know about DNA? Let’s discuss further on this in this science lesson.
Cells form the building blocks of our body. It is the same for humans and other animals; plants too. These cells are made up of proteins called DNA. DNA combines the information from both of the parents and share their traits to their children. These information are stored in DNA structures called Genes.
What do you know about DNA: Genetics code in DNA
On the cells this tiny DNA occupies in a special hub called chromosomes. We can see these tiny particles only with extra powerful microscopes. By thorough researches, scientists discovered the complex genetic code of each DNA. Each DNA contains four different bases or nucleotides ; Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C). Each nucleotide is a molecule containing deoxyribose sugar, phosphate group and nitrogenous base.
What do you know about DNA: Structure of DNA
Each cell in our body has a function to perform. The chromosomes which are made up of DNA control the functioning of each body cell. The structure of DNA is complicated; it has a double helix structure like a ladder twisted into spiral shape. Each step of the ladder contains a pair of nucleotides.
Adenine + Thymine & Guanine + Cytosine
The double helix structure of DNA was discovered by two famous scientists – Dr. James Watson and Francis Crick – in 1953. Later in 1962 they shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine for solving this complicated biological puzzle.
What do you know about DNA: Some interesting facts about DNA
DNA copying the information: DNA carries the genetical information from our parents and transfer some unique traits to coming generations. Sometimes mistakes happen during the time of copying, such as deletion, insertion/duplication and substitution of nucleotides. These mistakes are called mutations.
DNA can stretch the sun! Amazing, right?? If we unfold all the DNA molecules in our body, it would stretch until the sun and returns. Do you know what, if the size of a cell in our body was at the size of peanut, our thumb would be at the size of an elephant.
Detect Diseases: Well, like the shape and other traits that we inherit, there are also diseases that comes to the following generations through DNA. These diseases can be detected and treated early by tracking the history of our ancestors health ailments. Ailments like colon cancer, anemia, diabetes mellitus, etc are the examples such diseases.
Master DNA: Yes, DNA is the master of each cell. Each chromosome contains a single DNA molecule. It controls the whole body by its regular function. Every human have 23 pairs of chromosomes in a cell. These chromosomes are found in the nucleus of a cell.