DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)

Term Definition
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)
DNA provides the code for inheritance from our parents. DNA is strung in a linear form in chromosomes and contains 4 distinct units (nucleotides or base pairs). The base pairs are adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). The linear sequence of the base pairs provides the code for genes and ultimately proteins. The DNA sequence is translated into mRNA sequence. Three bases of mRNA code for a specific amino acid which is the building block for proteins. The DNA sequence determines mRNA sequence which determines the amino acid sequence in proteins which are ultimately the workhorse of the cell. DNA is replicated every time a cell divides and for the most part, every cell in your body has the exact same DNA sequence in the nucleus. Should an error occur in the DNA sequence during replication, this error will be repeated in subsequent cell replications. The mutation is only passed onto the next generation when errors occur in a sperm cell or an oocyte (egg).


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