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The Ultimate Guide to Your Genes

The Ultimate Guide to Your Genes

The Ultimate Guide to your Genes
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Discover everything you need to know about your genes, how they affect your health and the future of genetics. Each life form on this planet has a unique genetic code – DNA – whose structure was first identified 65 years ago. Now geneticists are using DNA to improve our health, eliminate hunger and even bring back animals from the dead… In this issue are In-depth articles on… -Genetics: explaining the basics of DNA and genes -DIY ancestry tests and personalised medicine -The controversial topics of GM foods and biohacking -The future of cloning and designer babies

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
10,07 €(VAT inclusa)

in questo numero

1 minuti
the code to life

In 1953, two biochemists James Watson and Francis Crick, walked into a pub in Cambridge and declared: “We have discovered the secret of life!” They weren’t exaggerating. They had worked out the structure of DNA and, with it, unlocked many of the mysteries of how living things make and replicate themselves. They owed their discovery in part to the work of Rosalind Franklin and her PhD student Raymond Gosling, who took the now famous ‘Photo 51’, which showed the pattern formed by passing X-rays through a sample of DNA. By studying this image, Watson and Crick deduced the double helix structure of DNA. This saga is just one of the many instances throughout history where breakthroughs have only been possible by building on the discoveries of others – as Newton so aptly…

1 minuti
your genes

We share about 70% of our genes with acorn worms, which look nothing like us – they have no limbs and breathe through slits in their guts The single-celled Amoeba dubia has one of the largest known genomes, containing 670 billion base pairs – over 200 times more than the human genome at 3.2 billion UNLIKE GENES, CHROMOSOMES CAN BE SEEN UNDER A MICROSCOPE Only about 2% of our DNA actually codes for genes. The rest is non-coding DNA WE SHARE 99% OF OUR GENES WITH CHIMPANZEES EACH OF US HAS ENOUGH DNA TO REACH FROM HERE TO THE SUN AND BACK, MORE THAN 300 TIMES If the 3.2 billion letters (bases) in your genome were printed out, they would fill a stack of paperback books 61 metres high THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE HUMAN GENOME WAS…

8 minuti

WHAT IS DNA? Deoxyribonucleic acid is found at the heart of almost every living cell. It carries all of the instructions for an organism to build, maintain and repair itself. By replicating and passing on their DNA, animals, plants and microorganisms can impart their characteristics to their offspring. In humans, half the DNA in our cells stems from our mother and half from our father. This is why we inherit a mixture of characteristics. DNA is a hugely long and complex code, and everyone’s is unique. This ‘genetic code’ can tell us many things, such as details about ancestry and potential health problems. Our understanding of DNA has revolutionised the whole of biology. It has allowed scientists to measure how closely organisms are related to one other, helping to both confirm and refine…

1 minuti
jargon buster

BASE PAIRS DNA consists of building blocks called nucleotides. There are four different types and each is assigned a letter: A, C, G or T. A links with T and C links with G. When connected, these form the base pairs. DNA SEQUENCING This technique allows scientists to ‘read’ the sequence of nucleotides. GENE A section of DNA that has a particular function. Genes rarely do just one thing and often it is the combination of many genes that result in a physical characteristic like eye colour or height. You inherit genes from both your mother and your father. GENOME This is the entire DNA sequence of an organism. The human genome was sequenced in 2003. Everyone’s genome is unique, but we can tell if we’re closely related by studying similarities between genomes. GENETIC DISORDER A problem caused by one…

1 minuti
explain it to a friend

1. YOUR DNA IS UNIQUE DNA is a very long molecule that contains the instructions for living things to build and maintain themselves. All organisms have their own unique strands of DNA in each cell, which forms a very long code known as their genome. 2. CELLS READ THE GENES Certain stretches of an organism’s genome do certain things. These sections are called genes. Each cell can ‘read’ the code written in the genes and use it to build all the chemicals it needs. 3. DNA EXISTS IN CHROMOSOMES Within each cell, DNA is kept in packages called chromosomes. We inherit 23 chromosomes from our mother and 23 from our father. Which ones our parents pass on to us determines many things, including what we look like, what diseases we are likely to get and…

1 minuti

1860s Gregor Mendel establishes the basic rules of inheritance. Friedrich Miescher isolates DNA, a substance he calls nuclein, from cells found in pus. 1944 Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty demonstrate that DNA is the material which controls inheritance. 1952 PhD student Raymond Gosling (pictured) working under chemist Rosalind Franklin captures ‘Photo 51’ – the image used to work out DNA’s structure. 1953 James Watson (left) and Francis Crick describe the structure of DNA, for which they were awarded a Nobel Prize. 1972 DNA from two different organisms is spliced together for the first time by Paul Berg, paving the way for genetic modification and the advent of GM foods. 1996 Dolly (pictured with her lambs) is born. Dolly is the first mammal cloned from a non-embryonic cell. Her DNA is identical to the sheep she was cloned from. 2003 Afer £3bn…