25 Facts About DNA That Will Help You Understand Yourself

Posted by , Updated on April 12, 2016

DNA is what makes you. It is the blueprint for your body. Without DNA there would be no you. It is a molecule that carries the genetic instructions for the development and continued functioning of every single living organism and even some that aren’t actually living (viruses). DNA is in every single cell in your body. It tells those cells what proteins to make. Mostly those proteins are enzymes. The DNA in your cells was inherited from your parents which is why you share traits with them, like hair color. While DNA is definitely a good and necessary thing, it can be used for sinister ends. Viruses replicate themselves by making use of DNA and in doing so they infect organisms. So what does DNA look like? It has a double helix shape, which basically means it is twisted into a giant spiral ladder and each step on the ladder consists of a pair of nucleotides. When DNA is copied, mistakes are sometimes made and these mistakes are known as mutations. Don’t worry though, not all mutations are bad. Although sometimes the organism dies, some mutations are even good! Get ready to learn because these are 25 facts about DNA that will help you understand yourself!

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25

Bdelloid rotifers are microscopic creatures that have been exclusively female for over 80 million years. They reproduce by stealing the DNA of other animals.

Bdelloid rotifers are microscopic creatures that have been exclusively female for over 80 million years. They reproduce by stealing the DNA of other animalsSource: themarysue.com, Image: wikipedia
24

If you were to type 1 word per second every day for 8 hours, it would take you 50 years to type out the human genome

TypingSource: eyesondna.com, Image: pixabay
23

Instead of venom, Braconid wasps inject their victims with a virus that suppresses the victim's immune system and allows the wasp's parasitic larvae to grow within the victim. Scientists found that this virus is unlike any other virus on Earth. It is over 100 million years old and apparently assimilated itself into the very DNA of the wasp.

Instead of venom, Braconid wasps inject their victims with a virus that suppresses the victim's immune system and allows the wasp's parasitic larvae to grow within the victim. Scientists found that this virus is unlike any other virus on Earth. It is over 100 million years old and apparently assimilated itself into the very DNA of the wasp.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
22

If you ever have a bone marrow transplant, the DNA in your blood can include that of your donor (which has led to false arrests in the past)

If you ever have a bone marrow transplant, the DNA in your blood can include that of your donor.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
21

Siblings share 50% of their genes, as do parents and children

Siblings share 50% of their genes, as do parents and childrenSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

20

DNA is damaged nearly 1 million times per day...in every single cell of your body. Fortunately, your body has an elaborate system of repairing it. If it didn't, this would lead to cancer or cell death

DNA is damaged nearly 1 million times per day...in every single cell of your bodySource: wikipedia, Image: Caroline Davis2010 via Flickr
19

When it comes to invertebrates, mudworms are our closest relatives (we have more DNA in common with them than we do with cockroaches or even an octopus)

When it comes to invertebrates, mudworms are our closest relatives (we have more DNA in common with them than we do with cockroaches or even an octopus)Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
18

According to scientists, four families in Iceland have DNA only found in Native Americans. The evidence suggests that the Vikings brought a Native American woman back to Europe nearly 1,000 years ago.

According to scientists, four families in Iceland have DNA only found in Native Americans. The evidence suggests that the Vikings brought a Native American woman back to Europe nearly 1,000 years agoSource: discovery.com, Image: wikipedia
17

There is a hard drive on the International Space Station called the "immortality drive". It contains the DNA of people like Lance Armstrong and Stephan Hawking in case of a world wide catastrophe.

There is a hard drive on the International Space Station called the "immortalitly drive". It contains the DNA of people like Lance Armstrong and Stephan Hawking in case of a world wide catastrophe.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
16

Brooke Greenberg of Maryland was the size of an infant with the mental capacity of a toddler. She died recently at the age of 20. Scientists think her DNA may hold the key to "biological immortality"

Brooke Greenberg of Maryland was the size of an infant with the mental capacity of a toddler. She died recently at the age of 20. Scientists think her DNA may hold the key to "biological immortality"Source: abcnews.go.com, Image: pixabay
15

Similar to the wasp you just read about, roughly 8% of your DNA is made up of ancient viruses that used to infect humans

Similar to the wasp you just read about, roughly 8% of your DNA is made up of ancient viruses that used to infect humansSource: sciencedaily.com, Image: wikipedia
14

According to DNA research, Polynesians may have visited Chile in the 1300s and beat Columbus to the Americas by nearly 200 years.

According to DNA research, Polynesians may have visited Chile in the 1300s and beat Columbus to the Americas by nearly 200 yearsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
13

About two grams worth of DNA could hold every bit of digitally stored information in the world.

About two grams worth of DNA could hold every bit of digitally stored information in the worldSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
12

Scientists encoded the song It's A Small World After All into the DNA of a bacteria that is resistant to radioactivity so that in the case of a nuclear holocaust, future humans or other life forms would find it.

Scientists encoded the song It's A Small World After All into the DNA of a bacteria that is resistant to radioactivity so that in the case of a nuclear holocaust, future humans or other life forms would find itSource: newscientist.com, Image: wikipedia
11

John Schneeberger, a Zambian doctor living in Canada was charged with sexual assault. He implanted a tube of someone else's blood in his arm so that when it was drawn for DNA evidence he passed the test. He was eventually found out and deported.

John Schneeberger, a Zambian doctor living in Canada was charged with sexual assault. He implanted a tube of someone else's blood in his arm so that when it was drawn for DNA evidence he passed the test. He was eventually found out and deported.Source: cbc.ca, Image: wikipedia
10

The DNA in humans is 99.9% similar. The last .01% is where the differences lie.

The DNA in humans is 99.9% similar. The last .01% is where the differences lie.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
9

An egg's genetic contents could be replaced with a man's DNA and then fertilized with a sperm. This would make two men the parents of a child.

An egg's genetic contents could be replaced with a man's DNA and then fertilized with a sperm. This would make two men the parents of a child.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
8

The DNA in all of your cells would stretch 10 billion miles if you uncoiled it. That is roughly the distance from Earth to Pluto and back

The DNA in all of your cells would stretch 10 billion miles if you uncoiled itSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
7

Although there are numerous websites and services offering to do genetic tests on your saliva that will prove your ancestry, scientists have warned that this is little more than genetic astrology and should not be taken seriously.

Although there are numerous websites and services offering to do genetic tests on your saliva that will prove your ancestry, scientists have warned that this is little more than genetic astrology and should not be taken seriously.Source: senseaboutscience.org, Image: wikipedia
6

50% of your DNA is identical to that of a banana's

50% of your DNA is identical to that of a banana'sSource: nhm.ac.uk, Image: wikipedia
5

Scientists have determined that DNA has a half-life of 521 years and after 1.5 million years even the best preserved DNA samples would no longer be readable.

Scientists have determine that DNA has a half-life of 521 years and after 1.5 million years even the best preserved DNA samples would no longer be readable.Source: scitechdaily.com, Image: wikipedia
4

Because of DNA degradation it is highly unlikely that dinosaurs or prehistoric creatures could ever be cloned

Because of DNA degradation it is highly unlikely that dinosaurs or prehistoric creatures could ever be clonedSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
3

German police once took DNA samples in a jewel heist. The samples led to two twins, Hassan and Abbas O. (German law prohibits naming them in full). Both of them denied committing the crime in spite of the fact that the German police knew one of them had done it (because of the DNA evidence). Unfortunately, they could not determine which one (because their DNA is basically the same since they are twins), and German law doesn't allow suspects to be held indefinitely. For this reason the police had no choice but to let them go.

German police once took DNA samples in a jewel heist. The samples led to two twins, both of whom denied committing the crime. Nobody was convicted.Source: time.com, Image: wikipedia
2

People of non-African descent all have traces of neanderthal DNA.

People of non-African descent all have traces of neanderthal DNASource: discovery.com, Image: wikipedia
1

The Hornsleth Deep Storage Project dropped a time capsule in the deepest part of the ocean in 2013. It contained human blood, hair samples, and animal DNA. This could all be used to bring endangered species back to life in the future.

The Hornsleth Deep Storage Project dropped a time capsule in the deepest part of the ocean in 2013. It contained human blood, hair samples, and animal DNA. This could all be used to bring endangered species back to life in the future.Source: deepstorageproject.com, Image: wikipedia
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