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The DNA explained in a simple and understandable way
The entire genetic material, the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of a person, is in every human cell. This genetic material is bundled within the cell (regardless of whether it is a muscle, heart or brain cell) in the chromosomes. Every person normally has 46 such chromosomes (23 chromosome pairs). The pair of chromosomes that determine our gender consists of two XX chromosomes in women and one X and one Y chromosome in men.
Inside the thread-like chromosomes is the DNA. One can imagine the DNA as a twisted double ladder. If one were to pull this “ladder” apart, its length would be around eight feet. The 23 pairs of chromosomes from the mother and from the father enable the genetic material to be mixed up again and again. The chromosomes are mixed up anew in each child.
The change in DNA can be examined with the help of genetic analysis. The German term DNS is often used in German, which stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.
A, T, G and C: A "monotonous" alphabet soup?
Every chromosome contains this DNA. It consists of a sugar residue, deoxyribose, and four bases each, called adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine. The entire genetic code - i.e. every single human gene - is composed of an infinite number of different combinations of these four bases. Our genetic blueprint can be thought of as a soup of letters, albeit a rather incomplete one because it only contains the letters A, T, G and C.
99 percent of us are all the same!
Because even if the human genome was deciphered a few years ago, most of the function of DNA is still unclear. These structures are called "pseudogenes". Incidentally, we only differ genetically in one percent; 99 percent of the genetic material is identical in every person.
Proteins: the servants in the organism
The genes are responsible for every single function in the human organism. However, they do not do this directly, but have “servants”, the proteins, for it. These protein building blocks are formed inside the cell in the cells' powerhouse, the mitochondria. Each protein consists of 20 amino acids. These amino acids within the proteins are ultimately responsible for the desired function of the protein. They help with blood formation as well as with the development of muscles, hair and nails and all other processes in the human organism.
The electronic mail of DNA
So that a protein can now arise, the double strand of DNA splits into two strands based on a certain signal, the desired information is applied to a messenger strand, the so-called messenger RNA (also known as "messenger RNA").
Translated into the information age, this means: You are the boss of a company and you need a certain product from the warehouse, which has yet to be manufactured. So you send an email to the production department, which immediately sets about creating the desired product. The email that sets this process in motion is the messenger RNS.
The messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid) can be described as the “little” sister of DNA. They are single strands whose only job is to carry information into the mitochondria in order to produce a certain protein there. Then this particular RNA dies again and is formed again when a particular protein is needed again. The development of this RNA is called “coding” in technical terms.
DNA: busy worker bee
Hundreds of thousands of such processes take place continuously in the human organism. And for this to work properly, the double helix in the cells, the DNA, has to divide continuously. In the process, new double strands are always formed in different compositions, each coding for a specific protein.
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