Over the past several years Genetics has become a leading link to understanding how ourbody works. By mapping out deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, scientists plan to find curesfor various diseases, develop better, more efficient drugs, grow new organs, evaluateenvironment hazards, and eventually build a human being. Inside of every single cell in our bodies there are 46 chromosomes that are madeup of DNA.
Half of your chromosomes are inherited from each parent, DNA is strungalong the chromosomes. DNA is the living instructional manual found in all livingorganisms. The building block letters of DNA are Adenine, (A), Thymine, (T), Cytosine,(C), and Guanine, (G). These are repeated over and over again about 3 billion times in ourbody alone. DNA can be subdivided into genes, with each gene carrying the informationon how to produce a unique protein. Each gene consists of three of the building blocksplaced together.
Along the stretches of DNA, genes tend to occur in clusters, like citiesseparated by vast emptiness. When the DNA is collected all together you have a genome. In the past scientists believed that there was more than 100,000 genes in thehuman genome, but recent studies by Celera Genomics and many other scientist basedteams, have found that the number of genes to be 35,000. (Article #1) This new foundinformation has made some biologists ecstatic and has wounded the pride of others. There are many people who are bothered by the fact that they dont seem to have (many)more than twice as many genes as a fruit fly, said Eric Lander, director of the WhiteheadInstitute Center for Genome Research. It seems to be some kind of affront to humandignity.
The 30,000 genes in our body compared to the 13,600 in the fruit fly does seemto raise questions about why we have the abilities to do so much more when we donthave that many more genes in our genome. Even though all creatures share the same DNAcode, some people still believe that there is a step-change between the rest of nature andhumans that separates us from them. The Human Genome Project, starting in the 1980s, is a research programdesigned to construct a detailed genetic and physical map of the human genome,determine the complete sequence of human DNA, localize 30,000 to 35,000 genes, andperform similar analysis on the genomes of several other organisms. Every species has its own genome. Every individual animal within a species has itsvery own specific genome.
Unless you are an identical twin your genome is different fromeveryone on earth – and from everyone who has ever lived. Even though you have yourown distinct genome, it is still recognizable as a human genome. Analyzing the human genome will give us insights into why people like the foodsthey do, why certain people die of heart disease and others of cancer, and why somepeople are outgoing and others are paralyzed by shyness. We will also be able to knowwhat body shape your children will have, the number of calories they are able to burn offin rest, and the types of sports they will excel at and enjoy.
Studying the genome canrelated to a number of things, you can study the whole genome, or only a small part. Youcan study the sequence, or function of a specific gene. We are able to observe what happens when something goes wrong with a gene,and how it affects our life and body. Certain diseases are cause by mutations in a particulargene such as Blindness, cancers, bowl disorders, Leprosy, arthritis, Turners syndrome,Down Syndrome, and many other types of diseases. These genetic diseases are caused bychanges (mutations) in the DNA sequence of a gene or a set of genes.
This can happen atany given time, from when we are a single cell to when we are close to 100 or older. Somescientists believe that there are specific disorders genes that cause the disease, but it is amutation that causes the normal genes to operate improperly. So to clarify all the mishap itis better to say that there are mutated genes that cause genetic disorders. In some diseases such as Down Syndrome and Turners Syndrome, entirechromosomes, or large segments of them, are missing, duplicated, or otherwise altered. Single-Gene disorders result when a mutation causes the product of a single geneto be .