To all atheists and agnostics kindly read the following facts on DNA and ascertain the probability of the existence of DNA based on "chance".
20 THINGSTo all atheists and agnostics kindly read the following facts on DNA and ascertain the probability of the existence of DNA based on "chance".
20 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT... DNA
"ID-ing" crooks from the DNA in their fingerprints, the 8 percent of our genome that came from viruses, and the plant that laughs at our puny genetic endowment.
By Kirsten Weir
1 Sorry, Jimmy: James Watson and Francis Crick did not discover DNA. That honor goes to Swiss biochemist Friedrich Miescher, who in 1869 found the molecule in the nuclei of white blood cells and called it nuclein. 2 Nor did they figure out that DNA is our genetic blueprint; bacteriologist Oswald Avery and his colleagues did that in the early 1940s. 3 What Watson and Crick did do, in 1953, was decipher the double-helix structure of DNA. Their discovery ran as a single-page paper in Nature. 4 Phosphorus is a key component of DNA, but late last year a team of NASA scientists published a controversial study reporting that they had found a bacterium that could use arsenic instead. “What else can life do that we haven’t seen yet?” wondered lead researcher Felisa Wolfe-Simon. 5 Don’t try this at home: If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billion miles—from here to Pluto and back. 6 Most of that DNA resides not in the cell nuclei, which control heredity, but in our mitochondria, the organelles (units within cells) that generate metabolic energy. 8 Aside from bacteria, the smallest genome belongs to the intestinal parasite Encephalitozoon intestinalis, with a trifling 2.3 billion base pairs. 9 Scientists are working to create vaccines against HIV, flu, and hepatitis C from snippets of synthetic DNA; the DNA tricks the body into producing harmless viral proteins that train the immune system to attack real viruses. 10 DNA vaccines for West Nile virus, melanoma, and hemorrhagic disease are already available for horses, dogs, and salmon, respectively. 11 At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, fetal DNA was extracted from a pregnant woman’s blood plasma and tested for Down syndrome. Prenatal DNA screening could someday replace amniocentesis. 12 Telomeres, sequences of DNA at the tips of chromosomes, get shorter every time a cell divides; when they get too short, the cell dies. Some scientists are trying to extend life by extending the telomere. 13 Good news if you’re a mouse: Researchers at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston engineered mice with telomerase (an enzyme that adds DNA to telomeres) that could be switched on and off. With the enzyme activated, the mice grew new brain cells and lived longer. 14 Bad news if you’re a mouse: Scientists at Osaka University recently developed mice that are especially susceptible to DNA copying errors, seeking to increase the rate of mutations and see what new traits appear. 15 The results so far include short-legged mice, mice with fewer toes than normal, and mice that chirp like songbirds. 16 Guess who’s in your DNA? At least 8 percent of the human genome originated in viruses, whose genetic code was integrated with ours over roughly 40 million years of primate evolution. 17 Over the next five years, the International Barcode of Life Project aims to establish genetic identifiers for 500,000 species—short sections of unique DNA in the same location on the genome, a bit like the UPC on your box of Froot Loops. 18 Already, forensic specialists can identify criminals from traces of “touch DNA” left in finger¬prints at a crime scene. 19 Next up: food forensics. British microbiologists sequenced DNA to identify the bacteria in a round of Stilton blue. They found that at least six microbial groups influence the flavor of the cheese’s “dairy matrix.” 20 And scientists at the University of Guelph in Ontario showed that DNA from the worm (actually an agave butterfly caterpillar) traditionally placed in bottles of mescal leaches into the liquor. So now we know: You don’t actually have to “swallow the worm” to swallow the worm.
25 INTERESTING DNA FACTS by Sankalan Baidya
Deoxyribonucleic acid, commonly known as DNA, is nothing but a molecule encoding genetic information that governs a living organism’s development and functioning. Putting it in simpler language, DNA stores information about the genetic makeup of an organism. This genetic makeup is passed on from one generation to another. This is quite hardcore science and hence, we will not go into details. We will rather keep it simple and discuss 25 interesting DNA facts that will make you say – “whoa, really?” So, let us begin!
1. DNA stores all information that makes up any organism. That’s quite a lot of information but what’s interesting about DNA is that it is made of just four building blocks, which are – cytosine (C), thymine (T), guanine (G) and adenine (A). 2. There were some ancient viruses that used to infect humans but today, 8% of human DNA is actually made of those ancient viruses! 3. Human DNA is 95% identical to the DNA of chimpanzees. That’s quite understandable but what’s shocking is that human DNA is 50% identical to the DNA of bananas! You read it correctly! We said BANANAS! 4. Here is another shocker – cabbages and humans share about 40-50% of identical DNA. Yeah – cabbages – those that we eat! You know… those green leafy cabbages! 5. You know what? 1 single gram of DNA is capable of holding an amazing 700 terabytes of data! 6. If we want to store all digital information in this world, all we need is 2 grams of DNA. 7. Human penis once used to be spiny. That’s scary! Luckily that DNA code which made the penis spiny is lost. Around 700,000 years ago Neanderthals and modern humans got separate from a common ancestor and that is when the modern humans actually lost that DNA code. Good for us! 8. Scientists have found out that a total of 510 DNA codes have been lost throughout the process of human evolution. 9. DNA is present in each and every cell of human body. Each DNA strand is 1.8 meters long but squeezed into a space of 0.09 micrometers! 10. If someone manages to unwind all DNA molecules in a human body and place them end to end, the total length that can be covered is 10 billion miles! That’s the distance covered in a trip from Earth to Pluto and back to Earth. 11. The center of our galaxy Milky Way contains molecular precursors of DNA. 12. The DNA in every cell of human body is damaged 1,000 to 1 million times every single day. Luckily our body has an elaborate system of repairing those damaged DNAs constantly. When the repairing mechanism fails events like cellular death or cancer formation takes place. 13. Do you really think Columbus was the first person to reach the New World (America)? You are wrong! This was achieved by Polynesians sometime in 13th century. This is actually suggested by DNA evidence. There are even stories that Antarctica was first visited by Polynesians around the year 650 and they describe the place as “a place of bitter cold where rock-like structures rose from a solid sea“. 14. It will take 50 years to type the entire human genome if someone types at a speed of 60 wpm (words per minute) and works 8 hours a day! 15. Mud worms, according to scientists, are the closest genetic relatives we have from the world of invertebrates. Human DNA is more similar to that of mud worms than other invertebrates such as cockroaches or octopus. 16. 99.9% of DNA is identical in all humans on this Earth. The remaining 0.1% is what helps us to differentiate between DNA sequences allowing us to tell which DNA belongs to whom. 17. DNA was first discovered in year 1869 by a man named Friedrich Miescher. 18. It was only in 1943 that scientists became aware of the fact that genetic information is stored in DNA. Prior to that, it was believed that genetic information was stored in proteins. 19. DNA damaged can be caused by Sun’s UV light. Damage may also be caused due to transcription error. There are various other factors that can cause DNA damage. Our body is equipped with a mechanism that can reverse these damages but not all damages can be repaired always. Unrepaired damages are nothing but mutation. This means that we almost always carry mutations, most of which are bad but some may be good. 20. According to researches, DNA has a half-life of 521 years. This simply means that the oldest animal or organism that can be cloned back to life cannot be older than 2 million years. Thus, replicating dinosaurs is literally impossible because they went extinct 65 million years ago. 21. If someone undergoes bone marrow transplant, the recipient may or may not have DNA of the donor. In most cases the recipient will not have foreign DNA. 22. Orbiting our Earth is a memory device that is known as ‘Immortal Drive’. The device is actually inside the International Space Station and it contains digitalized DNA sequence of Lance Armstrong, Stephen Colbert, Stephen Hawking and others. It is actually an attempt to preserve human race in event of a global catastrophe. 23. Earth did not have phosphates. Meteors were responsible for bringing reduced phosphorus to earth which then oxidized to form phosphates and thereby creating the mechanism that generates RNA and DNA. 24. DNA is capable of replicating or duplicating itself, i.e., it is capable of making an identical copy of itself and this is essential during cell division. 25. In point 14 we mentioned genome. A genome is nothing but the entire DNA sequence of an organism. One genome is estimated to have 3,000,000,000 DNA bases. Now a ‘base’ is nothing but a unit of DNA. To simplify even further, a base is a building block of DNA and there are 4 such building blocks as mentioned in the first point. These bases in turn pair up together to form genetic codes.
That concludes our 25 interesting DNA facts....more