Genetics and DNA
South University Online
Genetics and DNA
Mendel’s law of probability and principle of dominance and segregation was the ground floor to the study of genetics and hereditary. Mendel and earlier biologists had not linked DNA with hereditary. By the 1930s experiments led to the focus of one specific molecule and how that molecule was responsible for the inheritance of characteristics. From this, a decade later, it was noted that the chromosome had two chemical parts, DNA and protein. DNA is the acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid. This understanding then led to the discovery that DNA was the molecule which hereditary characteristics came from.
The shape of the DNA is a helix and because two DNA strands wind together, this is known as double-helix. The DNA is composed of nucleic acid. The long strands are known as polymers and these have four sections called the nucleotides. The nucleotide is where the genetic information is found on the chromosomes. The nucleotide has three parts; nitrogenous base, a sugar and a phosphate. “Nucleotides are joined together by covalent bonds between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next. This results in a sugar-phosphate backbone, a repeating pattern of sugar-phosphate-sugar-phosphate”(Simon et al, p. 175). This arrangement allows the DNA to store genetic information, duplicate it, and pass it on to the next generation. The phosphate is the acid in the nucleic acid, the sugar is the deoxyribose and nucleic is the position of the DNA in the eukaryotic cells. The four nucleotides have slightly different compositions to each other. This difference is found in the nitrogenous base and these are, Cytosine (C) and Thymine (T), and Adenine (A) and Guanine (G).
Inside each cell, the DNA is a blueprint. This blueprint provides all the information needed to replicate. In this replication all the genetic information is passed on to the next generation of cells, and this generation is...