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Nov 8, 2017 in Informative
Science and Life
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is a molecule that encodes genetic instructions used in the functioning and development of all living organisms. DNA, RNA and proteins are major macromolecules essential for all forms of life. Each cell has a set of chromosomes, and DNA is organized into them.
Genetic information is encoded as a sequence of nucleotides (adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine), usually recorded as A, T, C, and G. DNA molecules are mostly double-stranded helices. They consist of two long polymers of nucleotides (molecules with backbones of alternating sugars and nucleobases (A, T, C, and G) and phosphate sugars.
The first scientists who created DNA had essentially discovered how to build a new biological system as a platform for developing various technologies. They would rewrite and rebuild natural systems to provide engineered surrogates. Gene sequences, in various ways, correspond to different traits in organisms, are developed and incorporated into DNA blocks. They can then be put in a new strand of DNA which when placed in an empty living cell, could make the cell perform a number of functions.
Through artificial gene synthesis, genes were created in the laboratory (Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, & Walters, 2002). Scientists with knowledge to create genes can be said to be in a position to create life. This is because knowledge of gene synthesis can be used in the development of vaccines, gene therapy, heterologous gene expression and molecular engineering (Gong & Sheng, 2004).
After scientist found out that the DNA double helix structure provides a molecule that can store encoded information, they could use this knowledge to manipulate genes in the laboratory and make functioning cells, which are the constituent parts of all living things. The breakthrough to making laboratory DNA would enable scientists generate a DNA sequence in an organism, introduce point mutations and generate some forms of organisms (Gong & Sheng, 2004).