DNA Functions: An Overview of the Roles DNA Plays in Cells

DNA, also known as Deoxyribonucleic acid, is a material too tiny for the naked eye to see that exists in abundance in the human body. Billions of such cells hold important information about us. In Gregor Mendel’s research in 1866 was some of the first to explore why physical similarities are inherited. Studies in the field of genetics would continue, but American biologist and British physicist James Watson and Francis Crick’s discoveries about DNA are considered the most game changing in understanding the physical makeup of DNA as well as its functions. Anyone who has seen a TV show in which detectives are gathering evidence at a crime scene know how valuable DNA is in helping to identify someone, but what role does it actually play in cell function? Continue reading “DNA Functions: An Overview of the Roles DNA Plays in Cells”

Epigenetics: A Beginner’s Guide to How It Works [+ Examples]

What Is It?

Understanding what causes diseases is not just crucial to creating treatments. It is also essential in the prevention of illness. While the focus has been on nature versus nature for many years, recent advances show that the solution may not always be so black and white.

Every cell in the body has a nucleus that contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each chromosome contains tightly packed DNA. The combinations of the varying lengths of DNA are what make up the genes. These genes are hereditary. They are used to instruct the synthesis of proteins that make up new cells in your body. Continue reading “Epigenetics: A Beginner’s Guide to How It Works [+ Examples]”

What catalyzes DNA Synthesis?

All living organisms, plants, animals, bacteria, and even some viruses, contain DNA. DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, a molecule with two long chains that coil around each other creating a shape referred to as a double helix. Within the DNA is the material used for the genetic instructions of all life forms. DNA joins proteins, lipids, polysaccharides, and other nucleic acids as the four major macromolecules. These four macromolecules are found in all forms of life, and are necessary for life to exist. Continue reading “What catalyzes DNA Synthesis?”