Genes and DNA: A beginners guide to genetics and its applications

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So methylation is like a blue highlighter telling the cell "you don't need to know about this section right now.


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Methyl groups and other small molecular tags can attach to different locations on the histone proteins, each one having a different effect. Some tags in some locations loosen the attachment between the DNA and the histone, making the DNA more accessible to the proteins that are responsible for activating the genes in that region; this is like a pink highlighter telling the cell "hey, this part's important".

Other tags in other locations do the opposite, or attract other proteins with other specific functions. Even though every cell in your body starts off with the same DNA sequence, give or take a couple of letters here and there, the text has different patterns of highlighting in different types of cell — a liver cell doesn't need to follow the same parts of the instruction manual as a brain cell.

Genetic Genealogy and DNA Testing for Beginners

Some can even be inherited, just like some highlighting still shows up when text is photocopied. Any outside stimulus that can be detected by the body has the potential to cause epigenetic modifications. This is an area where the hype has advanced faster and further than the actual science.

There have been some fascinating early studies on the inheritance of epigenetic marks, but most of the strongest evidence so far comes from research done on mice. Epigenetics research continues apace in labs investigating a dazzling variety of topics. These references will serve as a baseline in other studies, in the same way that the original human genome project sequenced a reference genome to which scientists can now compare their own results to identify changes associated with specific diseases.

Genes, DNA and Chromosomes explained

These traits are described by the genetic information carried by a molecule called DNA. The instructions for constructing and operating an organism are contained in the organism's DNA.

Genes And Dna A Beginners Guide To Genetics And Its Applications

Every living thing on earth has DNA in its cells. Related Stories.

A new study indicates that pea plants with some specific traits A new study shows that, in monogamous mating systems, male birds may select their lifelong mates This may allow plants to respond quicker to changes in their environment. Plant biologists have now demonstrated By temporarily modifying the function of Polycomb Group PcG proteins--which play an Did Mosasaurs Do the Breast Stroke? The book encourages the reader to think independently, always stressing scientific background and current facts. Perhaps you've heard the media use the terms [cloning,] [genetically modified organisms,] [DNA fingerprinting,] and [genetic testing.

Our goal is to help you to become more familiar with words like these.

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Introduction to genetics

We will provide you with clear and straightforward genetic principles that are relevant to your everyday life and help you understand the many applications of modern genetic techniques. Genetics is one of the greatest adventures in science. This book will help you explore everything from the foundations of genetics, a little over a century ago, to modern genetic applications, including the genetic engineering of plant products that you probably eat on a regular basis. You will learn about medical, legal, and ethical aspects of genetics, as well as the impact of genetics on our society; this impact is mind-boggling.

For example, as little as fifteen years ago, it was unthinkable that deoxyribonucleic acid DNA would play any role in the prosecution and conviction of criminals. The use of DNA testing is now routine, and many people suggest that DNA testing should be made available for cases that came to trial before this technology was available.

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