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An Overview of DNA Functions

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 6 Dec 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Dna Replication Coding Proteins Overview

The functions of DNA are vital for inheritance, coding for proteins and the genetic blueprint of life. Given the enormity of DNA's functions in the human body and its responsibility for the growth and maintenance of life, it is not surprising that the discovery of DNA has led to such a great number of developments in treating disease. DNA holds the instructions for an organism's development and reproduction - ultimately, its survival.

Coding for Proteins

DNA holds the code for proteins, which are complex molecules that do huge amounts of work around our body. Information in DNA is initially 'read' and then it is transcribed into a messenger molecule. After, the information held in this messenger molecule is translated into a 'language' that the body can understand. This language is one of amino acids, which are also known as the building blocks of proteins. It is this specific language that dictates how the amino acids should produce a particular protein. If you think about the twenty different kinds of amino acids, you can see that the ordering can produce an enormous variety of proteins.

DNA Replication

DNA replication is vital for a virtually endless list of functions, from reproduction to maintenance and growth of cells, tissues and body systems. To copy itself, a DNA molecule essentially 'unzips,' thus resulting in a series of bases without pairs along the backbone of the molecule. DNA has four bases - all part of a nucleotide that also consists of a sugar and phosphate. The four bases in DNA are very specific about which base they will attach to, which means that adenine only pairs with thymine and guanine will only pair with cytosine. As the nucleotides connect with unpaired bases on the backbone of the DNA molecule, they build a new strand that complements - or matches - the original sequence. The end result is a strand that is a perfect match to the original one prior to it unzipping.

Cells in your body replicate for purposes such as making new skin or blood cells. When mistakes occur, there are repair systems in place to remedy the mistake or alternately, a cell has a marker for destruction. If a cell survives a mutation, there are still benefits to an organism. In fact, this concept is essentially the basis for evolution.

Genetic Code

DNA is important in terms of our genetic code, in the sense that it transfers genetic messages to all of the cells in your body. If you think about DNA in a reproductive sense, consider that the joining of an egg and sperm to create your first cell provided your completed genetic code that your body would use for all of your life. Within that initial cell, half of your chromosomes - containing your DNA - came from your father and half came from your mother.

DNA clearly plays important roles in the human body and is one of the most significant discoveries of the twentieth century. Our continued research and knowledge of DNA functions will likely help us to learn even more about this important molecule.

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The article is helpful.
chains - 29-Nov-18 @ 3:54 PM
All known cellular life and some viruses contain DNA. The main role of DNA in the cell is the long-term storage of information.
Alonzo Perez - 29-Nov-18 @ 3:50 PM
Its good to know how the study of DNA has led to further advancements in medicine and human survival.
DLRivers - 29-Nov-18 @ 3:45 PM
it is a good web site to learn about DNA
Mclovin - 29-Nov-18 @ 3:45 PM
the article was very interesting because i learned how DNA works and how it functions and helps us in our lives
david - 29-Nov-18 @ 3:44 PM
this article was really helpful in explaining what DNA is and how it functions
Marisol G. - 29-Nov-18 @ 3:39 PM
This article is very in-depth and provides vital information for those who are not familiar with how DNA is structured and how it was discovered.
Cyn - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:44 PM
What i learned abou this lesson was that DNA i influential because DNA means an Deoxyribonucleic acid which is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying the genetic.
Yaniiip - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:17 PM
DNA is an important part of out body part we its good that we know a lot information because DNA it part of us
chri_enrique9 - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:14 PM
I learned that DNA has been crystallized
Sadie - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:12 PM
it really helped a lot with the questions i had.
jakie wakie - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:12 PM
2pac didnt do anything
2pac - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:10 PM
The DNA image is a very cool looking thing
Mike - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:10 PM
this is very interesting it taught me a lot
david - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:09 PM
It's quite true that DNA was discovered by Crick and Watson based on the study I had on other sites... But I'm surprised you made no mention about DNA being a modified form of RNA
khalil - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:09 PM
DNA replication is vital for a virtually endless list of functions, from reproduction to maintenance and growth of cells, tissues and body systems
Elda - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:07 PM
The functions of DNA are vital for inheritance, coding for proteins and the genetic blueprint of life. Given the enormity of DNA's functions in the human body and its responsibility for the growth and maintenance of life, it is not surprising that the discovery of DNA has led to such a great number of developments in treating disease. DNA holds the instructions for an organism's development and reproduction - ultimately, its survival.
khalil - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:07 PM
DNA holds the code for proteins, which are complex molecules that do huge amounts of work around our body
Mclvoin - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:07 PM
DNA in the body also contains Nucleosides and nucleotides in Which both contains purine and pyridine that are complex compound containing a nitrogenous base like adenine,thymine,quanine,and cytosine which are constituents of nucleic acids For the protein building blocks.
Cesar - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:07 PM
This site is perfect in teaching the basics of DNA. Good job!!!
khalil - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:06 PM
dna is very interesting
BIG BEANER BOI - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:06 PM
DNA in the body also contains Nucleosides and nucleotides in Which both contains purine and pyridine that are complex compound containing a nitrogenous base like adenine,thymine,quanine,and cytosine which are constituents of nucleic acids For the protein building blocks.
khalil - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:05 PM
Wow! This has taught me so much! Now I know more about how DNA copies itself! :)
Cassidy - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:05 PM
The functions of DNA are vital for inheritance, coding for proteins and the genetic blueprint of life. Given the enormity of DNA's functions in the human body and its responsibility for the growth and maintenance of life, it is not surprising that the discovery of DNA has led to such a great number of developments in treating disease. DNA holds the instructions for an organism's development and reproduction - ultimately, its survival.
Ben - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:04 PM
you're going to have a good grade
Sans Undertale - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:00 PM
Atheists, explain this!
Ben Shapiro - 27-Nov-18 @ 6:15 PM
Ben shapiro ebic liberal destroyer
Bobby Schmuda - 14-Nov-18 @ 7:20 PM
Ben shaperio as hamburger helper
Domdoge - 8-Nov-18 @ 3:34 PM
This article was great
Ef Yu - 7-Nov-18 @ 4:34 PM
The functions of DNA are vital for inheritance, coding for proteins and the genetic blueprint of life. Given the enormity of DNA's functions in the human body and its responsibility for the growth and maintenance of life, it is not surprising that the discovery of DNA has led to such a great number of developments in treating disease. DNA holds the instructions for an organism's development and reproduction - ultimately, its survival.
REQISE IS DAD - 5-Nov-18 @ 1:34 PM
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    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    The article is helpful.
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  • Alonzo Perez
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    All known cellular life and some viruses contain DNA. The main role of DNA in the cell is the long-term storage of information.
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    The photo-51 that Franklin had discovered showed DNA had been crystallized and a blurred x in the center of the molecule revealed a…
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  • DLRivers
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    Its good to know how the study of DNA has led to further advancements in medicine and human survival.
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  • Mclovin
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    it is a good web site to learn about DNA
    29 November 2018
  • david
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    the article was very interesting because i learned how DNA works and how it functions and helps us in our lives
    29 November 2018