DNA, genes and the genetic code
DNA is understood as the acronym of the term deoxyribonucleic acid. Which in English is known as "Deoxyribonucleic acid" or by its acronym "DNA".
This is a word composed of the word "acid" from the Latin "acid" which means "sharp" or "sharp".
But the entry "deoxyribo" that alludes to a carbohydrate, and "nucleic" to refer to the nucleus and originating from the Latin "nucleus" which means "seed" or "pulp".
Therefore, it can be said that it is a chemical substance or acid whose function or occupation is the accumulation of information containing the genetic material. Found in the nucleus or center of the cells.
DNA is a molecule that collects genetic codes used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses.
DNA is a nucleic acid; Along with proteins and carbohydrates, nucleic acids make up the three main macromolecules essential for all known forms of life.
Most DNA molecules consist of two chains of biopolymer spiraling around each other to form a double helix.
The information in the DNA is stored as a code composed of four chemical bases that are: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T).
Human DNA is made up of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people.
The order or sequence of these bases determines the information available for the construction and maintenance of an organism, similar to the way in which the letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.
The DNA bases are paired with each other, adenine with thymine and cytosine with guanine, to form units called base pairs.
Each base is also linked to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. The nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix.
The structure of the double helix is something like a ladder, with the pairs of bases that form rungs of the ladder and the sugar and phosphate molecules that form the vertical side pieces of the ladder.
It can be said that DNA presents the genetic information that living beings use to function. This nucleic acid also enables data to be transmitted through inheritance.
DNA is usually compared to a code, since it acts as a guide with the instructions for the construction of the rest of the components of the cells. Each DNA segment that contains this data is called a gene.
Being a biopolymer, DNA is composed of multiple simple units that are related to each other, forming a chain.
The different elements that make up the DNA are the nucleotides, formed in turn by a phosphate group, a nitrogenous base and a sugar.
Nucleotides are distinguished from each other according to the nitrogenous base, which can be guanine, cytosine, thymine or adenine.
According to how these bases are ordered in the DNA chain, the coding of the genetic data takes place.
The use of the data that houses the DNA requires that the information be copied first in the ribonucleic acid (the RNA). Copying is known as transcription. The RNA molecules are analyzed in the nucleus of the cells and then leave the cytoplasm for use.
The treatments DNA
Scientific research on DNA allows the development of medical treatments and the modification of microorganisms, among many other issues.
There are several types of diseases related to DNA. These are the so-called genetic diseases, that is, those that take place as a result of some DNA alteration.
In general, they do not occur because they have acquired parental characteristics, that is, they are not related to the genes of the parents.
Within this group we can find the following:
* monogenic diseases: are those that occur because of different alterations or mutations of DNA only in a gene.
* polygenic diseases: occur as a result of mutations in more than one gene, usually of several chromosomes, in combination with various environmental factors;
DNA * chromosomal diseases: occur as a result of certain alterations in chromosomes. One of the best known at the popular level is Down Syndrome, characterized by the existence of a copy of more of chromosome 21;
* mitochondrial diseases: these disorders are generated when the mitochondrial DNA undergoes an alteration and can cause problems in various parts of the body since the mitochondria of the human body have their own DNA.
In this case, only women can transfer diseases.
One of the most common genetic diseases is cystic fibrosis, which usually affects especially white individuals.
Broadly speaking, it is characterized by the absence of a certain protein and the inability of the body to restrict the balance of chloride.
Among its symptoms are pulmonary infections and reproductive disorders. One of its peculiarities is that it only takes place when the two parents are carriers.
On the other hand, there is Huntington's disease (which usually appears simply with its acronym, EH).
It causes the cells of the central nervous system and the brain to degenerate, with terrible consequences.
Difficulties to eat, inability to control body movement, changes in behavior, memory loss.
Equally difficult to maintain balance and to express yourself.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is another disease related to DNA. Generally, it manifests before 6 years of age.
It is characterized by muscle weakness and fatigue. First in the legs and then in the rest of the body.
Until leaving the affected prostrate in a wheelchair at the beginning of his adolescence.
It is one of the keys to life and the evolution of all species, however, most people know little more than its abbreviated name (DNA) and that of the two people who discovered what its structure was like: Watson and Crick.
Basically, deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, is the molecule that codes for genetic information. It is a double coiled chain that is held together by weak hydrogen bonds between pairs of nucleotide bases.
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