25 Facts You Might Not Know About DNA

DNA is a long molecule that contains our unique genetic code and thus the instructions an organism needs to develop, live, and reproduce. Just like a recipe book, it holds the directions for making all the proteins in our bodies. This information is found in every cell and is passed down from parents to their children. DNA has become particularly popular during the past few decades thanks to its broad usage and utility. Genetic tests are used for a variety of reasons nowadays, including to show if there’s a relation between a parent and a child, diagnose genetic disorders, to determine whether a person is a carrier of a mutation that they could pass on to their children, and to identify whether a person is at risk for a certain disease. For the aforementioned reasons, it has been argued that the discovery of DNA as well as our understanding of its structure and function may well be the most significant discovery of the twentieth century. The effect of the discovery of DNA on scientific and medical progress has been enormous! See for yourself as we explore these 25 Facts You Might Not Know About DNA.

If you like these DNA facts, you might enjoy our list on 25 Rare Medical Conditions You Probably Never Heard Of.

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25

DNA is found in all living things and stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.

25 wSource: DNA: The Secret of Life (Book), Image: Wikipedia
24

We have all heard about paternity tests which confirm the relationship between a child and his or her potential father, or how a criminal can be identified via a DNA test (if investigators found blood, sperm, or hair at the crime scene), but DNA testing is also used to authenticate food such as caviar and fine wine.

Source: DNA: The Secret of Life (Book), Image: commons.wikimedia.orgSource: DNA: The Secret of Life (Book), Image: commons.wikimedia.org
23

DNA is used in wildlife forensics to identify endangered species and the people who hunt them (poachers).

Source: DNA: The Secret of Life (Book), Image: flickr.com, Photo by Wildlife Forensics LabSource: DNA: The Secret of Life (Book), Image: flickr.com, Photo by Wildlife Forensics Lab
22

In forensics, DNA analysis usually looks at thirteen specific DNA markers (segments of DNA). The odds that two individuals will have the same thirteen-loci DNA profile is about one in a billion.

22 wSource: DNA: The Secret of Life (Book), Image: Wikipedia
21

DNA can be extracted from many different types of samples: blood, cheek cells and even urine.

21 wSource: DNA: The Secret of Life (Book), Image: Wikipedia


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