What is DNA

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‘DNA is a nucleic acid that carries the genetic information in the cell and is capable of self-replication and synthesis of RNA. DNA consists of two long chains of nucleotides twisted into a double helix and joined by hydrogen bonds between the complementary bases adenine and thymine or cytosine and guanine. The sequence of nucleotides determines individual hereditary characteristics. ‘(1) Over the generations of man science has been used as the utensil to both explain and improve the existence of man.

Throughout my essay I will be talking about the impact DNA has had on society. The discovery of DNA, its structure, and function was probably the most significant biological discovery of the 20th century. It has had a tremendous impact on science and medicine. From identifying genes that lead to the development of diseases, to producing pharmaceuticals to treat them, identifying and analyzing genes has led to extraordinary breakthroughs that have changed the face of the future of science forever.

In the field of modern medicine and genetic research, the discovery of DNA has allowed for the improved ability to diagnosis disease, detect genetic predisposition to disease, create new drugs to treat disease, use gene therapy as treatment, and design “custom drugs” based on individual genetic profiles. These breakthroughs now offer hope for patients who suffer from what were once untreatable diseases.

The effects that the discovery of DNA has had on medicine are truly remarkable, but the impact crosses over into all aspects of our society. From cloning, to paternity cases, to determining the guilt or innocence of a suspect in a crime, to identifying victims, to breeding disease-resistant farm animals and growing more nutritious produce, the classification, analysis and manipulation of genes has transformed our world.

The discovery of the structure and functions of DNA over the past 50 years has lead to a revolution in biotechnology the likes of which the world has never seen, the production of medicines, foodstuffs and gene maps through the science of genetics has caused a pronounced change in human society raising the possibility for many advances to help the human race survive the troubles it will no doubt face in the future such as famine and disease.

It is not all good however as the possibilities it raises for the genetic modification of animal, plant and pathogen life forms including man are not only massive but also not yet fully understood. Genetics could save humanity or ultimately lead to deaths, a new form of racism or severe damage to modern ethics. DNA could always lead to hatred in society because it goes against alot of peoples believes. Always there could be a great divide people who can afford the advantages of DNA and those who can not.

But DNA clearly has alot more positive impacts on society than negative impacts. It’s been around for over fifty years and still more and more cures and discoveries are being made from it. The contributions made by Rosalind Franklin and countless other scientists and researchers have allowed us to uncover the structure and behavior of DNA and apply that knowledge to better understand genetic diseases and infectious diseases, the immune system, cancer and aging. In turn, we’ve come to understand more about ourselves, where we’ve been, and what tomorrow will bring.

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