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The Structure of DNA

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The Structure of DNA The "Thread of Life", is deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA. This molecule which is the bases of life, is spiral shaped and found in the nucleus of cells. DNA has the genetic code for bodies, controls development of embryo's, and is able to repair damage caused to itself. All DNA molecules have linked units called nucleotides. These nucleotides have sub-units that have 5 carbon sugars that are called deoxyribose. DNA is composed of four bases called adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. These are some of the main principles of DNA. What we know today about structure of DNA begins in 1868 when a Swiss biologist Friedrich Miescher did the first experiments on the nuclei of cells. Miescher used the nuclei of pus cells from old medical bandages. In these pus cells he found What We know today about structure of DNA begins in 1868 when a Swiss biologist Friedrich Miescher did the first experiments on the nuclei of cells. ...read more.


This project will examine the structure of human DNA and map out every single gene in the human body and will take 15 years. The strong knowledge that we have of DNA allows the scientist to map out the genes at about 1 to 2 per day. This may not seem to be a very fast rate but scientists have already found the genes that cause diseases such as Hunnington's, Lou Gerhig's, and the "Bubble-Boy" disease. Another way that we use our strong knowledge of DNA is in criminal identification. This plays a major role in today's society. Because each person's DNA is different (except in identical twins) police officers can take blood or semen samples from a crime scene and take them to the lab for identification. This can insure the guilt or innocence of a suspect. An example of this is the O.J. Simpson case where investigators tried to match O.J.'s DNA to the DNA at the scene of the crime. ...read more.


The human Genome Project that is said to be done by 2005 will sequence more 35 million pairs of human DNA. Because of such advanced technologies in the future and continually growing knowledge of DNA we may be able to find cures for such diseases as cancer or AIDS or even deformities such as sickle cell anemia or down syndrome. DNA technology is one of the leading sciences going into the 21st century. Because it could potentially cure or eliminate such diseases or deformities as AIDS or down syndrome it could also potentially harm us in the future with more lethal biological weapons. However anything dealing with DNA is a highly complicated and sensitive issue to most people. This knowledge is so powerful that we are able to play God, in a sense, and create or alter any organism we choose. That is why I believe that for the betterment of mankind we must regulate and restrict this information to insure that it is used for ethical purposes of mankind ...read more.

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