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Research Paper: Dna

2120 words - 9 pages

DNA is one of the many things that make up your body. Today, most people know that it carries each person’s unique genetic code. People also know that it has a double helix structure. However, do you know what it’s made up of? ¬Many people do not know much about DNA. There are many ways that DNA is helpful to the world. It helps us understand from heredity of diseases and how to find a killer who committed a crime. Many people even use DNA for genetic engineering so that they can create an organism with a specific gene that was not there before. DNA is very complex and has many tasks that it has to complete.
DNA is one of a class of molecules called nucleic acids. Nucleic acids were originally discovered in 1868 by Friedrich Meischer, a Swiss biologist, who isolated DNA from pus cells on bandages. This is kind of disgusting if you ask me. I would never in my life even think or have the curiosity about what was on those Band-Aids. He suspected that it contained DNA; however he could not confirm it. James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin discovered that DNA had a double-helix structure in 1953. They all had received the Nobel Prize in 1962 except for Rosalind Franklin because by this time she had already passed at the age of 37. While they were all scientists, Rosalind Franklin was the only one that actually had a degree in chemistry (Chemistry Heritage). Many people have different opinions about Rosalind. Some people think that she was the one who discovered that DNA has a double helix structure. Also, many people have the assumption that Watson and Crick took the fame and glory away from Rosalind. Even though she did die before the Nobel Prize was given out, scientists believe that it could have been given to her if it was not for Watson and Crick. However, people have many different opinions.
A new understanding of heredity and hereditary disease was possible once it was determined that DNA consists of two chains twisted around each other, or double helixes, of alternating phosphate and sugar groups which are held together by covalent bonds. Covalent bonds are bonds in which one or more pairs of electrons are shared by two atoms. The two chains are held together by hydrogen bonds between pairs of organic bases—adenine (A) with thymine (T), and guanine (G) with cytosine (C). Hydrogen bonds are a weak bond between two molecules resulting from an electrostatic attraction between a proton in one molecule and an electron in the other. This is because you will have the exact same amount of (A and T) as you do (C and G) (how stuff works). Modern biotechnology has also helped scientists to modify the DNA of host cells that will then produce a desired product. An example of this would be insulin. Determining the structure for DNA was the most important chemical discovery in the 20th century. This structure implied how genetic material is passed from generation to generation, and also from cell to cell (how stuff works). ...

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