One of the most interesting events during the month of April is the DNA or Deoxyribonucleic Acid Day. It is being celebrated annually on the 25th day of April by the Human Genome Research Institute to give honor to the scientists involved in discovering the existence of DNA and for publishing papers in journal Nature on the Structure of DNA in 1953.
These scientists that are being referred to are Francis Crick, James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin. However, this event was said to be a one-time celebration only and it was celebrated for the very first time in 2003. Both Senate and House of Representatives announced this event to the public. Moreover, on the same day of celebration, it was declared that the Genome Project was about to complete.
It is a common and general knowledge that DNA means a lot to an individual. For what reason? It’s because your DNA is what makes you different from the other individuals. Aren’t you curious enough why do people have distinct physical attributes? Or why do twins have multiple similarities in terms of their appearance?
To answer the questions playing inside your mind, these are the top 10 fascinating and interesting facts about human DNA.
Every individual is only 0.1% unique to others
One of the mind-blowing facts about DNA is that all people share 99.9% of their DNA to others. In reality, out of three billion base pairs found in the genetic material of each and one of you, only 0.1% is unique. Thus, you can conclude in this fact that every human is much more alike than different.
Your DNA is longer than what you are expected
If you will unwind and connect each of your DNA, it will be stretched from the earth to the sun and back. There are over one hundred trillion cells in your body and every strand of DNA in that particular cell measures six feet long. If you will arrange that from end-to-end that would be stretched over one hundred ten billion miles which means hundreds of trips around the sun.
Every human genome has three billion base pairs of DNA
The shape of DNA is called a double helix or can be visualized as a double twisted ladder that is connected to one another. Every rung of that ladder is composed of bases: cytosine (C), guanine (G), adenine (A), and thymine (T) which are placed and locked between two hydrogen bonds. What’s more incredible is that each base pairs up in a very specific way. It will always end up that cytosine pairs with guanine and adenine always pairs with thymine.
Your genes is about only 3% of your DNA
Genes is a part of a cell that is responsible for the basic physical unit of heredity. Have you ever wonder why some people says the popular line, “It’s all in the genes”? And it’s eventually true because genes are in-charge on your physical attribute as well as your growth development. On the other hand, DNA is the material that is responsible for carrying your genetic information to your cells. All genes are DNA since it is a short portion of it but not all DNA are genes.
Identical twins have 100% similarities in their DNA
Are you wondering how it became possible that identical twins got totally the same physical traits? You might have enlightenment as you read this. When a single sperm fertilized one egg and that one egg splits into two, it is clear that 100% of two embryos will have exact same DNA. The only thing that will differ from this twin is their fingerprints as it is being influenced by the hormonal changes in the mother’s womb and also by the environmental factors.
Your body’s basic messenger of creation is no other than your DNA
Your hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and your fingernails are all made by your DNA with the help of your RNA or ribonucleic acid. When your DNA formed a specific sequence, it sends a message to your proteins instructing it to do a specific part of your body. Every species have unique DNA that’s why humans produce offsprings, dogs lay puppies, and roses bring off roses, not any other type of flowers.
DNA has three major types which are A-DNA, B-DNA, and Z-DNA
Did you know that there are actually 5 different types of DNA? These are A-DNA, B-DNA, C-DNA, D-DNA, and Z-DNA. Although there five of them, only three were classified as major as it is the most active DNA found in every species. Among all of these types, B-DNA or commonly known as Watson-Crick Model is the most common which can be found in nature. A-DNA, on the other hand, is the rarest type of DNA and it is shorter and more compact compared to B-DNA. While the other two are right-handed, the Z-DNA is the only left-handed DNA type which refers to the coiling of strands.
Your DNA has the ability to repair itself when damaged
There are several factors which can damage your DNA such as sun’s ultraviolet light, error in transcription, and high exposure to radiation. But the good thing is, the human body has a feature mechanism in which it can reverse the damages done by the antigen. Unfortunately, not all of these damages can be repaired and unrepaired damages will result in mutation. The mutation has a positive or negative effect. Dimple in the human cheek is actually a good mutation and disease like down syndrome is a bad mutation which is caused by the deletion of chromosome 21.
Today’s human DNA is composed of 8% ancient viruses
Back then, there are reports that ancient viruses used to infect our ancestors but today, nineteen pieces or 8% of non-human DNA were found sneaking between our genes. According to scientists, it might affect the people carrying it.
A total amount of 510 DNA codes was lost in response to human evolution
By comparing the DNA of the extinct and modern species, scientists found out that about 510 DNA codes were lost which bring changes to human bodies. According to the findings of the scientists, men lost their DNA codes which made their penises spiny millions of years ago.