What is DNA?
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It’s stored as code and is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms.
- Nearly the same in every cell of the body.
- Mostly located in the cell nucleus.
- Some are found in the mitochondria which are the structures within the cells that convert the energy from food.
- It can make copies of itself.
Four Chemical Bases Make up the Code
- Adenine (A)
- Guanine (G)
- Cytosine (C)
- Thymine (T)
Human DNA contains about 3 billion bases with 99 percent of those being the same in all people. They appear in sequences similar to spelling a word. This determines the information necessary to build and maintain an organism.
DNA bases combine to form base pairs and are attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule thus making them nucleotides.
- Arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix.
- Each strand serves as a pattern for replicating the sequence of bases.
- Similar to fingerprint analysis.
- Indistinguishable in identical twins.
- Useful in solving old cases.
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