A brief explanation of DNA

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 10th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1dem6qbu/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Biology>Human Biology

We have reviewed the many uses of DNA testing in detail and this final part of the series is just a recap. This section will be a quick review of the biological component of DNA testing.

What is DNA?

What is DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) happens to be a chemical, a nucleic acid, which is at the basis of every living thing. Certain bacteria and viruses also contain DNA.

The DNA material is contained in two large molecules or strands (helixes) that intertwine into what is known as a double helix.

The nucleotides (units) contained on these long polymers consist of sugars and phosphates and within some of the sugars is the information that carries or codifies everything that makes us who we are.

These pieces of information are called genes and genes determine what we look like on the outside for all to see and even what is happening on the inside.

Our DNA or genetic makeup can influence certain psychological factors such as personality traits, or aptitude in certain areas. DNA is special because it is at the basis of who we are. More importantly our DNA is unique to us.

No other human being on the planet shares the exact same DNA formation. We get part of our DNA makeup from our parents. However, even though our parents pass on their genes to their offspring they do not pass the exact formation on to every child.

Despite being closely related, we still have our own special formation of DNA. That is why siblings in the same family can look very similar or very different depending upon the pattern of genes passed on to them at the time of conception.

DNA testing

It is because our DNA is so unique that DNA testing can yield some very accurate results. DNA testing can identify criminals who were present at a crime, or it can prove the guilt or the innocence of individuals suspected of committing a crime.

Forensic DNA testing can determine human and animal DNA, it tests samples of DNA extracted from the elements for health purposes, it determine steroid or alcohol and drug use and so much more. Legal DNA testing is permissible as evidence in courts.

Types of DNA tests

DNA samples can be taken from anywhere on the body; skin cells, hair follicles, semen and more. DNA samples are important to answer many of the questions we need answered in our everyday lives.

Parental DNA testing can determine if missing children who are found many years later are related to a couple, while forensic DNA testing is used in rape cases, and for paternity issues.

Paternal DNA testing as well as hair DNA testing and other forms of DNA testing can be done almost anywhere. Men can have their samples tested at a Paternity test center, or send it directly to a DNA paternity testing laboratory. There is also a home paternity testing kit. Interested individuals who need DNA testing for a myriad of reasons can obtain information about an online paternity test as well.

Previous link
The Legal Stance on Forensic DNA Testing

All photos taken from the public domain
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Clues At A Crime Scene, Codis, Codis Databank, Crime Scene Dna Testing, Data Databases, Dna, Dna Databank, Dna Footprint, Dna Technology, Dna Testing, Dusting For Fingerprints, Ethical Concerns Over Dna Testing, Forensic Dna, What Is Dna

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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