The discovery of DNA, its structure and function was the most vital discovery of the 20th century. It has had beneficial effects on science and medicine.
It identifies genes that lead to development of a disease, creates new drugs to treat a disease, cloning and paternal tests, finding out suspects in crime and a host of other things, it has revolutionized the world.
DNA stands for Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid. It is the genetic material of a cell. Inside the nucleus which is the control centre are chromosomes which are made of DNA. It is very fine and tightly coiled.
DNA is a code divided into sections called genes. These genes specify instructions for making up our body. Our bodies are made up of protein. The genes are a code for a protein and they dictate how we are made and what our bodies look like. DNA molecules are two long strands coiled round each other. Half of the DNA is inherited from the mother and the other half from the father.
DNA technology helps to reveal the secrets of our body. Each of us has DNA with different genetic information. The exception is identical twins that have identical DNA but different fingerprints.
The data contained in DNA is passed down from one generation to the next. Much is in dispute as to how much our traits are influenced by inheritance and DNA and how much by environmental factors. This controversy is known as the nature/nurture debate.
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