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Activity Discussion Science & Technology Role of DNA Reply To: Role of DNA

  • Kunal

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    January 6, 2024 at 4:28 pm
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    The DNA molecule plays a fundamental role in genetics as it serves as the primary repository of genetic information in living organisms. It carries the instructions necessary for the development, functioning, and reproduction of all known life forms.

    DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a double-stranded molecule composed of nucleotides. Each nucleotide consists of three components: a sugar molecule (deoxyribose), a phosphate group, and one of four nitrogenous bases—adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), or guanine (G). The two DNA strands are held together by hydrogen bonds between complementary base pairs: A with T and C with G.

    The storage and transmission of genetic information occur through several processes:

    Replication: Before a cell divides, its DNA needs to be replicated. The double helix of DNA unwinds, and each strand serves as a template for the synthesis of a new complementary strand. This process results in two identical DNA molecules, each containing one original and one newly synthesized strand.

    Transcription: The genetic information stored in DNA is used to produce RNA molecules in a process called transcription. During transcription, one DNA strand serves as a template for the synthesis of a complementary RNA molecule, with the nucleotide uracil (U) replacing thymine (T) in RNA. The RNA molecule, known as messenger RNA (mRNA), carries the genetic instructions from DNA to the protein synthesis machinery.

    Translation: Translation is the process by which the genetic code carried by mRNA is converted into proteins. The mRNA molecule interacts with a cellular structure called a ribosome, which reads the sequence of nucleotides in groups of three, known as codons. Each codon corresponds to a specific amino acid, which is the building block of proteins. As the ribosome reads the mRNA sequence, it assembles the amino acids in the correct order, ultimately producing a functional protein.

    Through these processes, the DNA molecule stores the genetic information necessary for the development and functioning of an organism. The sequence of nucleotides in the DNA molecule determines the sequence of amino acids in proteins, which in turn influences the structure and function of cells and organisms. Genetic information is passed on from one generation to the next through the transmission of DNA from parent to offspring during reproduction.

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