What is DNA?

What does DNA stand for ?

Deoxyribonucleic acid it is known as DNA

  • It’s a polymer made up of two polynucleotide chains that coil around each other to form a double helix that contains genetic instructions for all known organisms and viruses’ formation, functioning, growth, and reproduction. Nucleic acids contain DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA).
  • Because they are made up of smaller monomeric units called nucleotides, the two DNA strands are known as polynucleotides.
  • Each nucleotide is made up of a sugar termed deoxyribose, a phosphate group, and one of four nitrogen-containing nucleobases (adenine [A], cytosine [C], guanine [G] or thymine [T]).
  • Covalent connections (known as the phospho-diester linkage) between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next nucleotide link the nucleotides together in a chain, resulting in an alternating sugar-phosphate backbone.
  • Although the its molecule was discovered in the year 1869, it was not until the year 1943 that its involvement in genetic heredity was proved.
  • James Watson and Francis Crick revealed that Deoxyribonucleic acid is a double-helix polymer, a spiral made up of two DNA strands twisted around each other, in 1953, with the help of biophysicists Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins.
  • As a result of the breakthrough, scientists now have a better understanding of DNA replication and hereditary control of cellular activity.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
 Credit: U.S. National Library of Medicine

Current (Modern) Use of DNA Technology:

  1. Short tandem repeat (STR) analysis in transplantation: Useful in Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
  2. Identifying a killer investigation- Development of a its database for future criminal investigation.
  3. Parents’ Deoxyribonucleic acid fingerprinting
  4. Resolving specimen identity

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