Full Form of DNA

We all have heard about DNA in biological classes, in movies and twin theories. The full form of this biological abbreviation is mystical as an alien for many people. In this tutorial, we will learn the full form and various aspects of DNA.

The full form for the DNA abbreviation is ‘Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid’.

Full Form of DNA

Topics Covered:

  1. What is DNA?
  2. Why DNA is so important?
  3. Structure of DNA
  4. Types of DNA
  5. FAQ/ Frequently Asked Questions

What is DNA?

“DNA is a complex molecular structure made up of organic chemical that is found in all living beings and in most of the viruses as well. DNA is responsible for the transmission of genetic traits from parents to their offspring.”

Every living being on this earth has DNA, whether plants, fungus, virus, animals, or humans. Although DNA is present in every living being, its composition differentiates one individual from another. Interestingly, as per research, the DNA of all humans is 99% identical. Therefore, it is dependent on only 1% of our DNA that makes us unique.

In 1869, Johannes Friedrich Miescher, a renowned Swiss biologist, introduced and named DNA 1869 during his research on WBC’s. Later, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double-helix structure of a DNA molecule due to their experimental evidence. Eventually, it has been proved that DNA is involved in the transmission of genetic information.

Why DNA is important?

DNA is responsible for the synthesis of proteins and RNA (also known as ribonucleic acid). The process of synthesizing ribonucleic acid is called transcription. RNA is further translated to protein by a process known as translation.

DNA is also responsible for controlling the cells’ metabolic reactions with the help of hormonal enzymes and RNA molecules.

DNA comprises genetic data that is passed to you from your parents, and further, they have inherited it from your grandparents. Hence, it is a key element of reproduction and heredity traits.

Example: If you and your mother have the same nose or your eyes are brown as your mother, it because you have their DNA. Not only physical features but many internal diseases are also inherited from generation to generation because of DNA.

Structure of DNA

The DNA structure resembles a twisted ladder whose rungs are made up of different bases containing a sugar group, a phosphate group, and a nitrogen base.  The composition of a pentose sugar, a phosphate group and nitrogenous base is known as Nucleotide. The nitrogen bases exist in four forms, i.e., Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C), Thymine (T).

Adenine base will form its binding with thymine, whereas cytosine will bind with guanine. The bond so formed is called hydrogen bonding. Sugar-phosphate molecules will create a bond angle, and eventually, the linkages will form a double helix structure.

Types of DNA

DNA coils upon itself, and it resides in the nucleus of a cell. The DNA present in a single cell whose diameter is 2 micrometers is 1.8 meters. Hence, because of the nucleus’ size, it is not possible for DNA molecules to be in one structural shape only, and its various forms. The different forms or types of DNA are as follows:

Type 1: A – DNA

A-from is a right-handed helix. The diameter of the A-DNA is wider, and the length is shorter than B-DNA. They are present in dry conditions (where humidity is 75%) and have high concentrations of ions. If a cell is facing protein binding or desiccation, it takes the form of an A- DNA to protect the cells under such active conditions.

Type 2: B – DNA

B form is also a right-handed helix. It is the most common DNA as it is present in a humid environment (around 92 %) and has low concentrations of icons, which is the ideal environment for cells. The reason a majority of DNA is diagnosed with type B when tested under normal physical environments.

Note:

  1. If a B-DNA cell faces dehydrating conditions, it transforms into A-DNA to survive.  
  2. The B-DNA can transform into Z-Form if the protein count can bind to it in one helical conformation and compel the DNA to take a different conformation.

Type 3: Z – DNA

Z-DNA is a left-handed helix. They have a zigzag pattern of sugar-phosphate running in an antiparallel direction. This DNA is present in the forefront of a gene’s preliminary site. Hence, it contributes the most in calculating the gene.

FAQ/ DNA Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Where DNA resides in the human body?

Answer: Human body is made up of n number of cells. Almost all eukaryotic cells contain DNA in their nucleus.  

Question 2: Can we edit or alter our DNA?

Answer: We will in a techno world where nothing seems to be impossible. Yes, your Gene can be edited by a technology known as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR). This technology was adapted from a bacterial mechanism in which certain parts of DNA are cut and removed. The CRISPR technology is also used in the creation of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops.

Question 3: Do twins have the same DNA?

Answer: Yes, if both the twins are identical, in that case, they share the same DNA. It happens when a single ova is fertilized, and later it gets split into two embryos. Because both the embryos are raised from the same fertilized egg, they both have the same DNA.

In the case of fraternal twins (when two eggs are fertilized), they have different DNA, unlike any other siblings.

Question 4: What is the full form of RNA? How is it different from DNA?

Answer: The full form of RNA is ‘Ribo-Nucleic Acid’.

The difference between DNA and RNA are as follows:

  1. Structure- DNA has a double helix structure, whereas RNA has a single stranded structure. 
  2. Size-DNA has millions of nucleotides, whereas RNA has only hundreds to thousands of nucleotides. Thus DNA is larger than RNA. 
  3. Located- DNA’s are present inside the nucleus, whereas RNA’s are located primarily outside the nucleus (in cytosol and ribosomes).

Question 5: What is DNA replication?

Answer: DNA replication is a biological method to produce two same copies of DNA from the original DNA molecule. The replication of DNA happens at the sequence of nucleotides. 

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