What is DNA? A molecule that allows us to travel very far back into the past – this history book we carry around like a gift from a long line of ancestors. A continuous sequence of code with four building blocks, contained in nearly every cell in your body. So much information is contained in our DNA inside one cell that if stretched end to end, if would be nearly six feet long. DNA stands for Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid. It is composed of what looks like two ribbons that are connected by pairs of 4 different nucleotides. Their names are not terribly important, but the order which they sequence help to determine your skin color, your height, your likelihood of getting diabetes or becoming an alcoholic. Together in various sequences, the nucleotides create our genes and fully together, our genome.
When you have children, you copy your DNA and pass it onto them. This is why your offspring resemble you more closely than they do other people. However the mix of 2 peoples DNA can sometimes create mistakes, called mutations. These mutations provide generations of people, variation. Early scientists even went as far as classifying humans into separate categories. It is thought that the human races had once been united, but over time, with migration and mutations they had evolved separately to produce the diversity we see today.
The ability to distinguish our DNA did not exist until recently.
Now genetic scientists can determine if you are part of a family tree dating back centuries. Genetic scientists have began mapping the world and charting the migration of various peoples and DNA.Share