Science Sunday is back! Sorry about missing a week in there but with kids you sometimes never know what’s going to happen. Back to school has been rough here with runny noses and colds. How’s it been at your house? Better than mine I hope.
Today I want to give you guys the basics of use, living being. This is where everything starts and with a basic knowleadge here you should understand my later posts a bit better. Sound ok? Here we go. Let’s talk about DNA, RNA, and Genes. Chances are you ahve heard those terms before. You may not know exactly what they mean though so here’s a runthrough.
DNA: DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is double stranded. It is the chemical building blocks of living creatures. The four types bases (blocks) found in DNA are: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). These bases are the instructions for everything that happens in our body and the distinct order they are found in is important. Each sequence tells our body to do or be something, for instance eye color, that is determined by the sequence of our DNA. Our DNA is what makes us what we are. Your DNA is passed down from parents to children of all specices, that mean inherit half of your DNA from the male parent and half from the female parent. This is true for animals, plants, and humans. When something is wrong with your DNA, then something can be wrong with you.
RNA: RNA ribonucleic acid. RNA is a single stranded. There are 3 types of RNA and each play a role in taking the instructions DNA give to the body to become a gene. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is what copies the DNA and takes the information to be processed. Transfer RNA (tRNA) takes the message from the mRNA and creates an amino acid sequence from it. Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is what brings mRNA and tRNA together. The four types bases (blocks) found in DNA are: adenine (A), guanine (G) and cytosine (C), and uracil (U). Notice there is no thymine (T) in RNA, that’s how the body keeps track of what it is. Without RNA, genes can not be made and your body would have no instructions.
Genes: Genes are a combination of amino acids that were determined from the RNA. Genes are the functioning part of our DNA by making proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies. Genes and the proteins they create represent the traits we can see like eye color and traits you can’t see like blood type. You get two of each gene, one from your mother and one from your father. Sometimes it’s the the same gene, like both your parents have blue eyes. Sometimes it’s a different gene, like one for red hair and one for brown hair. In that case the stronger gene (dominant) one is seen in you. When there is problem in your DNA, it can be show by being a problem in a protein. It could be a protein that does not work anymore or it can a protein that works to well. This is how cancer develops.
Well, that’s a lot of details and I don’t want to make it harder than it already is. Does that make sense to you guys? If you need more explanation or have a question please leave me a comment and I will get back to you. I love talking about this and helping people understand science. Leave a comment and let me know what else you want to see in Science Sunday.
Additional sources: http://www.genome.gov/25520880, http://biology.about.com/od/molecularbiology/ss/rna.htm#step1, http://biology.about.com/od/geneticsglossary/g/Genes.htm