What are the gut microbiota and gut microbiome? The human gastrointestinal tract (gut) is populated by an enormously heterogeneous and different group of microorganisms (up of trillions of cells and over 1000 species) including bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungi. Therefore, … Continue reading Genetics in the human gastrointestinal tract: what we do know about our gut microbiota
We all know that information is passed down from one generation to the next through genes. But what about another type of non-gene change in your DNA, called epigenetics? Literally meaning “above the genes”, epigenetic changes are chemical modifications to … Continue reading Changes in Your Genome Felt Throughout Generations
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”
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]”
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?”
Did you already have your answer in mind after reading the title? I know I did; I immediately thought “siblings, right?” Long story short, yes, you can be genetically closer to your siblings than your parents, but you’re considered to … Continue reading Are You Genetically Closer to Your Parents or Siblings?
It all started with a man and his plants. They were pea plants. Their flowers were different colors, their seeds different shapes. Some were long and others short. When two long plants were cross-bred, the result was always another long … Continue reading The History of Genetics
As I sat watching a fascinating, thought provoking Sci-Fi film on Netflix the other day, I wondered what the world would be like if we had clones of ourselves roaming the streets. Would it be like the movie I was … Continue reading Can You Clone A Person With Their Personal Genome?
We already know that all living things, from humans to amoebas, reproduce using the same basic method: cell division. DNA, the genetic material inside our cells, has to be copied so that the new offspring cells have the same genetic … Continue reading How DNA Replication Works: A Simple Guide
In 2003, the Human Genome Project successfully mapped the entire sequence of genes in human DNA. Since then, DNA and genetic testing have been all over the news, and the science behind it can leave your head spinning if you’re … Continue reading Understanding DNA: The Layman’s Guide