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The Ultimate Guide to Your GenesThe Ultimate Guide to Your Genes

The Ultimate Guide to Your Genes

The Ultimate Guide to your Genes

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

國家/地區:
United Kingdom
語言:
English
出版商:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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本期

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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…

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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 gutsThe 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 billionUNLIKE GENES, CHROMOSOMES CAN BE SEEN UNDER A MICROSCOPEOnly about 2% of our DNA actually codes for genes. The rest is non-coding DNAWE SHARE 99% OF OUR GENES WITH CHIMPANZEESEACH OF US HAS ENOUGH DNA TO REACH FROM HERE TO THE SUN AND BACK, MORE THAN 300 TIMESIf the 3.2 billion letters (bases) in your genome were printed out, they would fill a stack of paperback books 61 metres highTHE FIRST DRAFT OF THE HUMAN GENOME WAS…

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dna

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…

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jargon buster

BASE PAIRSDNA 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 SEQUENCINGThis technique allows scientists to ‘read’ the sequence of nucleotides.GENEA 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.GENOMEThis 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 DISORDERA problem caused by one…

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dna in numbers

AMOUNT OF DNA WE SHARE WITH OTHER SPECIESJUNK DNAUp to 98 per cent of our DNA is ‘noncoding’ – meaning there are no genes in these sectionsVIRUS DNAUp to 9 per cent of our DNA is thought to be from ancient viruses that have merged with our genome (see page 22)CAPACITY OF DNA500,000 DVDs’ worth of information can be stored in a single gram of DNASMALLEST GENOME 112,000 nucleotides are present in the bacteria Nasuia deltocephalinicola – the smallest genome found so far ■…

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explain it to a friend

To save on space, DNA is coiled up into chromosomes1. YOUR DNA IS UNIQUEDNA 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 GENESCertain 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 CHROMOSOMESWithin 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…

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