April 8, 2013
Biology 101 Section 20
Hey Grandma! I heard you wanted to buy a genetic testing kit online to see your risk of developing any kind of diseases. Lucky for you, I’m taking a biology class and I can educate you a little bit about hidden diseases in DNA before you make your decision to get tested or not.
I want to explain to you what DNA really is. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid and it is something that can be found in all living organisms. However, even though every living organism has DNA in them, it doesn’t mean that everyone will have identical DNA. In fact, there are all kinds of different DNA’s out in the world within every living body. By looking at someone’s DNA, it will simply tell you whether the person is male or female and can even tell you why the person has a certain hair or eye color. Your DNA is like your inner social security, it says who you are. DNA carries information throughout your body and helps regulate the way your body develops. DNA has a nucleotide that contains a phosphate group, sugar, and a base. In DNA, the nitrogen base contains adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine. DNA itself is known for a double helix shape that looks like a spiraling ladder when looked at. The bases are on one side of the ladder and the corresponding bases on the other (Phelan 2011). The hydrogen bond is what keeps these corresponding bases together in the ladder. The correct corresponding bases of DNA should be Guanine and Cytosine while the other should be Adenine and Thymine. When our bases don’t correspond there may be an error in the coding of DNA, which can code for diseases in our body. For example, our Cytosine and Guanine bases are suppose to always correspond to each other and likewise for Adenine and Thymine. So if for any reason the bases don’t correspond, many mutations can be formed and interrupt or prevent what the DNA had intended to originally do. If any substitutions, deletions, or insertions are...