Decoding DNA: The Future of DNA Sequencing

Decoding Life's Manual

DNA is the recipe for life. Everything that makes up an organism is written in its DNA. Only just recently have scientists been able to crack the code that defines everything we are. Welcome to the nano-scale world of DNA.

What is DNA sequencing? 

 DNA is often called the molecule of life. That's because everything that's alive on this planet is defined by its DNA. Organisms are made up of proteins, and DNA is the recipe that codes for all the proteins an organism will ever make. DNA is the reason snakes have scales, plants have chloroplasts, and your eyes are the color that they are. Everything that you are is written in your DNA. Imagine if we could decode the recipe for life. We could learn what differenciates tomatoes from fish, brunnettes from blondes. We can identify the genes that are responsible for cancer, and we can personalize medicines for specific genome types. With DNA sequencing, all this and more is possible. The message of DNA is encrypted in the sequence of fours base pairs, A, T, G, C. Advances in biotechnology enable us to decode the sequence in those letters, and with that knowlege comes a whole new world of opportunities.  

Click here to learn about the history of DNA sequencing.

Structure of DNA 

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is made up of phosphates, deoxyribose sugars, and nitrogen-containing bases. These three components combined form a nucleotide, and two nucleotides together form a base pair. The alternating sugars and phosphates form the backbone of the double helix, and the base pairs are responsible for the actual coding. 

Purines:                              Pyrimidines:
 Adenine   <---pairs with--->   Thymine
 Guanine   <---pairs with--->   Cytosine



Rana Eser
Davis Senior High School
Mrs. Moriarty

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