DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is located in the nuclei of cells, which make up the body. Consequently, DNA can be considered as one of the building blocks of the body.
To understand the exact structure and function of the body it is essential to know what a cell is and how it is structured.
DNA, abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid, organic chemical of complex molecular structure that is found in all prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and in many viruses. DNA codes genetic information for the transmission of inherited traits.
What is DNA made of?
DNA contains four chemical bases:
Where is DNA found?
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material that lies within the nucleus of all cells in humans and other living organisms. Most of the DNA is placed within the nucleus and is called nuclear DNA. However, a small portion of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria and is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA.
DNA base pairs
DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G, to form units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule.
DNA in humans contains around 3 billion bases and these are similar in two persons for about 99% of the total bases. These bases are sequenced differently for different information that needs to be transmitted. This is similar to the way that different sequences of letters form words and sequences of words form sentences.
DNA sequencing is technology that allows researchers to determine the order of bases in a DNA sequence. The technology can be used to determine the order of bases in genes, chromosomes, or an entire genome. In 2000, researchers completed the first full sequence of the human genome, according to a report by the National Human Genome Research Institute.
A person’s DNA contains information about their heritage, and can sometimes reveal whether they are at risk for certain diseases. DNA tests, or genetic tests, are used for a variety of reasons, including to diagnose genetic disorders, to determine whether a person is a carrier of a genetic mutation that they could pass on to their children, and to examine whether a person is at risk for a genetic disease. For instance, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and analysis of these genes in a genetic test can reveal whether a person has these mutations.
Genetic test results can have implications for a person’s health, and the tests are often provided along with genetic counseling to help individuals understand the results and consequences of the test.
There are now many at-home genetic testing kits, but some of them are unreliable. Also, NBC News reports that people should be careful with these kits, since the tests are essentially handing over a person’s genetic code to a stranger.