Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) (Science Experiments)
Solving the structure
Comparing DNA: Does the DNA from different species have the same appearance?
Your hair color, a leaf's shape, a bird's wing: These diverse features all share one key inherited trait known as deoxyribonucleic acidLarge, complex molecules found in the nuclei of cells that carry genetic information for an organism's development; double helix. (Pronounced DEE-ox-see-rye-bo-noo-klay-ick acid) or DNA. DNA is commonly called the building block of life, for it is the inherited substance that all characteristics build from. Passed down from generation to generation, DNA directs how an organism functions, develops, and appears. Every life form on Earth carries DNA. And unless you are an identical twin, your DNA is completely unique to you.
The findings of DNA have led to awesome advances in a wide range of fields, from medicine to crime solving. Researchers have used their knowledge of DNA to examine inherited diseases, produce medicines, study the relationships between species, and develop foods with desired characteristics. As the work to understand DNA continues, researchers hope that gaining knowledge about the molecule will help improve people's lives all over the world....
(The entire section is 4165 words.)
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Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
An organic substance occurring in chromosomes in the nuclei of cells, which encodes and carries genetic information, and is the fundamental element of heredity.
As the transmitter of inherited characteristics, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) replicates itself exactly and determines the structure of new organisms, which it does by governing the structure of their proteins. The Swiss researcher Friedrich Miescher first discovered DNA in 1869 when he extracted a substance (which he called nuclein) containing nitrogen and phosphorus from cell nuclei. The question of whether nucleic acids or proteins, or both, carried the information that make the genes of every organism unique was not answered, however, until the molecular structure of DNA was determined in 1953. This pioneering work was accomplished by an American biochemist, James D. Watson, and two British scientists, Francis Crick, a biochemist, and Maurice Wilkins, a biophysicist. The thousands of genes that make up each chromosome are composed of DNA, which consists of a five-carbon sugar (deoxyribose), phosphate, and four types of nitrogen-containing molecules (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine). The sugar and phosphate combine to form the outer edges of a double helix, while
(The entire section is 690 words.)