DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, in the human body provides the transmission of genetic information. It is a kind of circuitry in our body without which the transmission of fixed mutations, i.e. evolution, would not be possible. We take DNA from our parents and adopt their basic traits. It is shaped like a double helix with ladder-like partitions. These partitions are the nucleotides that form the chains of nucleic acids.
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Interesting facts about DNA
- There are animals in the world whose population includes only females. These are bdelloid rotifers, and they do not reproduce sexually. They produce offspring by borrowing DNA from animals of other species.
- The human genome contains an enormous amount of information. If digitised, this information would occupy 3,000 carriers, each with a capacity of 100 GB.
- A specific virus has been injected into the DNA of one of the wasp species. Now, when a wasp attacks its prey, it passes on this virus, which suppresses its immune system. This enables the wasp to deposit a larva in the victim’s body and the victim will grow and develop further. A virus that can do this has no equivalent on the planet.
- In a bone marrow transplant, the recipient receives part of the donor’s DNA.
- You and your parents share 50% of your DNA. The same can be said for your brothers and sisters.
- The 1 molecule of DNA contained in our body takes a million damage every day. Fortunately, it is able to repair itself quickly, otherwise the cells would simply die.
- Of all invertebrates, earthworms are the closest to humans. Ironically, we share more DNA with them than with the much more evolved octopus.
- On an international space station, there is a disc containing the DNA of history’s greatest men, such as Stephen Hawking. It is humanity’s chance in the event of worldwide catastrophe.
- Scientists believe that the secret of longevity, or even eternal life, lies in our DNA. This is based on a study of the cells of Brooke Greenberg, a young woman who died at the age of 20 but always looked like a small child.
- Some of our DNA (about 8%) is ancient viruses that have caused mutations in the cells of the human body.
- It only takes 2 grams of DNA to keep all the information on the planet digitised.
- Humans are closer together than you might think – the difference in our DNA is only 0.1 per cent.
- The parents of a child could, in theory, be two men. This would be possible by replacing the native DNA in a woman’s egg with that of a donor, and fertilising it with the sperm of another man.
- If only 1 man’s DNA is unwrapped, they will stretch all the way to Pluto and back.
- Information can be written into the DNA. For example, in experiments, scientists recorded a song from a children’s cartoon into the DNA of a bacterium.
- We look 50% like a banana. At least, that’s how much our DNA matches.
- DNA can be stored for an extremely long time – it has a half-life of 521 years.
- However, in about 1.5 million years, even DNA under ideal conditions will have nothing left. This is why scientists will never be able to clone dinosaurs or other extinct animals.
- All non-African humans have a piece of Neanderthal DNA.
- In 2013, a so-called ‘deep burial’ was carried out. As part of the project, animal DNA was placed in a special capsule and lowered into the deepest place in the ocean. The idea is that someday humans will be able to bring these animals back to life.