Hey everyone! This is our first round of #Macademics posts for 2018 and if my title gave you any indication of what I'm going to blog about today, it's DNA - I just couldn't pass up the Kendrick reference. Now I am an ANALYTICAL chemist by trade/future degree and NOT a biochemist, so this will be very basic information about DNA. Shoutout to Bri for this topic idea.
So first things first, what is DNA?
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is this super huge molecule that holds our genetic code. It’s basically the boss that holds all the important pieces of information.
DNA has a double stranded helix conformation
and is made of four building blocks: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). These blocks always come in pairs, A with T and C with G, so one strand of DNA will have a sequence of bases on it and will pair with another strand that has a complementary sequence. The strands run in opposite directions of each other and these pairs are held together by hydrogen bonds...all I’m going to say about that is that hydrogen bonding is a really strong force that requires a lot of energy to break, but that’s a topic for another #Macademics post. The order of the bases in a DNA sequence is what forms genes, which tell the cells how to make proteins. RNA has a role to play too, but if I went into detail about that this post would be really long.
Now for some DNA fun facts:
Humans and cabbages have 40- 50% of identical DNA
1 gram of DNA holds 700 terabytes of data
If you unwind all DNA molecules in a human body and place it end to end, the length is the same as traveling from Earth to Pluto back to Earth
99.9% of DNA is identical in all humans on Earth, but the remaining 0.1% is what makes us unique
The structure of DNA was found by a woman, Rosalind Franklin, but she didn’t get credit for it until after she died, so I’ll leave that there and let you all look into that
See you next month for another installment of #Macademics.