Are you interested in learning about what are the two fundamental roles of DNA? If you are interested in doing so, then you can rest easy because this article got what you are looking for.
DNA is such a complexity that not all of us should understand. However, even though it is a complex matter, that does not mean that you should not learn of the basics. While DNA knowledge can be pretty worrisome at times, the basic premise is actually pretty simple. Today, this article will talk just about what are the two fundamental roles of DNA.
DNA: what is that?
DNA is an abbreviation of Deoxyribonucleic acid. The scientists that studied it thought that the term Deoxyribonucleic acid is too much of a tongue twister, so they shortened it to DNA. Nobody in their right mind would use Deoxyribonucleic acid each time they are to mention DNA. If you are a masochist for your tongue, you are free to use the term to your heart’s content.
Anyway, judging from the name, DNA is basically a type of acid that is contained within the cell of any living being. If that living being got a cell in it, it will contain a DNA. Humans, animals, bacteria, all are eligible for having DNA in their bodies. Some viruses have it some do not because viruses are pretty much the odd duck in the living world – They are rarely submitted in the DNA discussion because of that sole reason only (that does not mean scientists do not conduct researches on it, mind you).
If you are still curious about what DNA actually is, DNA is a molecule. The molecule is no ordinary molecule, though, as it contains a sort of genetic instruction that is used by any living organisms. You can say that the DNA is a sort of instruction book that your body uses when they want to things. If the flesh wants to do some fun reproduction, they refer to the DNA. If your brain wants to learn more of things, they refer to the DNA. If your whole body wants to function normally, guess to whom they refer to? The DNA.
The DNA is not resistant to replication. In fact, a replication process is sorely needed for the DNA to be able to constantly work and constantly provide for the body. While the DNA is constantly changing and replicating, the backbone of the DNA is resistant to change. It is pretty much resistant to cleavage (not that cleavage mind you. The scientific one). Unless something bad happens on a molecular level, this backbone will not change for the worse.
The shape of the DNA, the double helix, is there thanks to the nucleotides that coil around together, hugging each other to form the shape that you normally see in pictures of DNA. Knowing that, DNA can be pretty sweet sometimes, right?
What does DNA contain?
Each DNA is composed of nucleotides, and within those nucleotides are one of the four nucleobases, a phosphate group, and a deoxyribose. The four nucleobases are guanine, cytosine, thymine, and adenine, and each DNA strand contains one of them. Deoxyribose is a sort of sugar that alternates between the phosphates, creating a bridge that connects the two nucleotides. The hydrogen bonds and the nucleobases will then work together to create the ‘hugging hand’ that connects the two strands of DNA.
Confusing, is it not? This is because this is a complex matter requiring a deep learning before you can fully understand the happenings behind it. Today, this article is not going to talk deeply on that matter. Today’s topic will be about what are the two fundamental roles of DNA.
What are the two fundamental roles of DNA?
Actually, the DNA got four roles to play in the body: first, they act as a replication machine, replicating themselves so that any living being would not be obsolete thanks to having old DNA strands in their bodies. Second, they act as a repository for information and instructions. This, as it has been said before, means that they are the place where every instruction for the body is stored. Without a good storage system, the body would not be able to do things perfectly. Third, the DNA acts as an evolution engine, constantly changing and reshaping so that living beings would not have to be constantly like that. Last but not least, the DNA act as a cell cop. More on them down below:
DNA as a replication machine and an evolution engine
These two functions are probably the best two fundamental roles of DNA because they will lead the body to the same road: a better being. The DNA is constantly changing and replicating, turning the body into something that is far better or far worse for the future. This replication process helps the body keeping itself alive and free of diseases.
The DNA changes through mutation and recombination. The former got a bad rep because DNA mutation more often than not always lead to you being ‘abnormal’. Mutation can occur because of several things, with radiation exposure being the most common cause for it. It can lead to a genetically bad offspring or it can lead to something worse like developing a genetic disease in a gene that can get transferred to your children. Nobody wants to be the bad seed, right?
What can be declared as a mutation is when the nucleobase meet the incorrect nucleobase pair (to make it simple, there is a base pairing rule for the nucleobases. Adenine should be with thymine and cytosine should be with guanine). If something happens that forces your adenine to meet guanine, then you can safely say that your cell has mutated from it base form.
Recombination is a much simpler process than that. Recombination occurs when a swap happens between segments of chromosomes, leading to the creation of a new genetic material. This helps the body develop resistance to things that were once dangerous for the body, preparing the body for a future worse than the present.
There you have your answer. If you are still wondering about what are the two fundamental roles of the DNA, then the answers are to be an evolution engine and to help the body maintains a working order.