DNA: The Blueprint of Life DNA & Scientists

DNA: The Blueprint of Life DNA & Scientists Griffith and Transformation In 1928, British scientist Fredrick Griffith was trying to learn how certain types of bacteria

caused pneumonia. He isolated two different strains of pneumonia bacteria from mice and grew them in his lab. Griffith made two observations: (1) The disease-causing strain of bacteria grew into smooth colonies on culture plates. (2) The harmless strain grew into colonies with rough edges. Griffith's Experiments Griffith set up four individual

experiments. Griffith injected mice with four different samples of bacteria. When injected separately, neither heat-killed, disease-causing bacteria nor live, harmless bacteria killed the mice. The two types injected together, however, caused fatal pneumonia. From this experiment, biologists

inferred that genetic information could be transferred from one bacterium to another. Experiment 2: Mice were injected with the harmless strain of bacteria. These mice didnt get sick.

Harmless bacteria (rough colonies) Lives Experiment 3: Griffith heated the disease-causing bacteria. He then injected the heatkilled bacteria into the mice. The mice

survived. Heat-killed disease-causing bacteria (smooth colonies) Lives Experiment 4: Griffith mixed his heat-killed, disease-causing

bacteria with live, harmless bacteria and injected the mixture into the mice. The mice developed pneumonia and died. Heat-killed diseasecausing bacteria (smooth colonies)

Harmless bacteria (rough colonies) Live disease-causing bacteria (smooth colonies) Dies of pneumonia Griffith concluded

that the heatkilled bacteria passed their disease-causing ability to the harmless strain. Heat-killed diseasecausing bacteria (smooth colonies) Harmless bacteria (rough colonies)

Live disease-causing bacteria (smooth colonies) Dies of pneumonia Transformation Griffith called this process transformation because one strain of bacteria (the harmless strain) had

changed permanently into another (the disease-causing strain). Griffith hypothesized that a factor must contain information that could change harmless bacteria into disease-causing ones. Avery and DNA Oswald Avery repeated Griffiths work to determine which molecule was most important for transformation.

Avery and his colleagues made an extract from the heat-killed bacteria that they treated with enzymes. The enzymes destroyed proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and other molecules, including the nucleic acid RNA. Transformation still occurred. Avery and other scientists repeated the experiment using enzymes that would break down DNA.

When DNA was destroyed, transformation did not occur. Therefore, they concluded that DNA was the transforming factor. Avery and other scientists discovered that the nucleic acid DNA stores and transmits the genetic information from one generation of an organism to the next. Chargaff's Rules Erwin Chargaff discovered that: The percentages of guanine [G] and cytosine

[C] bases are almost equal in any sample of DNA. The percentages of adenine [A] and thymine [T] bases are almost equal in any sample of DNA. X-Ray Evidence This X-ray diffraction photograph of DNA was taken by Rosalind Franklin in the early 1950s. The Xshaped pattern in the center

indicates that the structure of DNA is helical. Rosalind Franklin used Xray diffraction to get information about the structure of DNA. She aimed an X-ray beam at concentrated DNA samples and recorded the The Double Helix Using clues from Franklins pattern, James Watson

and Francis Crick built a model that explained how DNA carried information and could be copied. Watson and Crick's model of DNA was a double helix, in which two strands were wound around each other. What is DNA ? Deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA

Double-stranded molecule that carries information that determines an organisms traits. Composed of a four-letter nucleotide/molecule alphabet referred to as A, T, C, and G. Order of the alphabet determines the characteristics

of the living organism, much like the order of letters in our alphabet determines the words. Each cell in the human body contains >3 BILLION letters. The only difference between living organisms is the DNA is like a fingerprint, in that it is unique to each individual and can be used to identify them, even though it is not visible to the naked eye.

Parts of DNA DNA is made up of nucleotides, building blocks of DNA. A nucleotide is a monomer of nucleic acids made up of: Deoxyribose 5-carbon Sugar

Phosphate Group Nitrogenous Base DNA molecule looks like a twisted ladder shaped like a double helix. The Double Helix In the ladder, bases nitrogencontaining

compounds are arranged in pairs. The sides of the ladder are composed of sugar molecule and phosphate group. Each of the building blocks of

The Bases There are four kinds of bases in DNA: Adenine (A) Guanine (G) Cytosine (C) Thymine (T) These bases can

combine in billions of different ways, but they always pair this way: Hydrogen bonds form and hold these bases. This principle is

called base pairing. Where do you find DNA? Prokaryotic Cells In prokaryotic cells, DNA is located in the

cytoplasm. Most prokaryotes have a single DNA molecule containing nearly all of the cells Eukaryotic Chromosome Structure Chromosome Nucleosome DNA double

helix Coils Supercoils Histones Eukaryotic DNA is located in the cell nucleus inside chromosomes. DNA Replication?

DNA Replication When a cell divides, it makes new cells with exactly the same genetic information as the original cell. DNA cannot divide in two, instead the chromosomes must be copied. The process is called replication. Replication ensures that each new cell has the same genetic information as the original cell.

Replication ensures that each resulting cell will have a complete set of DNA. Replication proceeds in both directions until each chromosome is completely copied. DNA Replication (Cont.) During replication, the DNA molecule unzips, exposing each half of the base pairs.

Free bases in the cytoplasm pairs up with the exposed bases on the each half of the DNA strand. The result is the formation of two strands of DNA identical to the original. DNA FACT

FACT: You have about 9 million kilometers of DNA. That's enough to reach to the moon and back 13 times! FACT: Strands of DNA are so tiny, you could fit about 5 million strands through the eye of a needle.

FACT: Each cell in your body contains 3 billion letters in the DNA: they would fill a stack of paperback books 200 ft high. FACT: Each cell contains 9 feet of DNA. In an average meal, you eat approximately 55,000,000 cells or about 93,205 miles of DNA.

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