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  • 1. DNA: Deoxyribonucleic Acid
    Image from http://www.pratt.duke.edu
  • 2. What do you know about DNA?
    My 10 year old says “Mom, everyone knows all about DNA.”
    OK… so what do you know?
    By the way… I “googled” the term DNA and it returned
    2.6 MILLION images!
    Image from www.blockbuster.com
  • 3. The Double Helix
    Another image from GATTACA …
    Image from www.movieforums.com
  • 4. A=T and G-C
    The Double Helix is held together by “Hydrogen Bonding”
    Gives the Helix specificity
    Chargaff’s Rule (1950):
    [A] = [T] and [G] = [C] refuted the previously held understanding of the “Tetranucleotide Hypothesis”
    Images from:
    The Creative Science Quarterly: www.scq.ubc.ca and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebus_Levene
  • 5. A Closer Look at the Anatomy of the Double Helix
    While the base pairs are holding things together in the middle…
    the sugars and phosphates are holding things together along the sides.
    The strands in the Double Helix are “antiparallel”
    The sugar in DNA is “DEOXYRIBOSE”
    Image from: http://whyfiles.org
  • 6. Structure : Function
    The DNA Double Helix is wound around a set of proteins call “Histones” which allow for efficient packaging of the DNA into Chromosomes
    The Chromosomes are then packaged into the Nucleus of the Cell
  • 7. Replication
    The structure of the double helix provides a means for Replication
    DNA copied into more DNA… exactly the same
    Watson and Crick: 1953 paper in Nature described not only the double helix structure but MORE IMPORTANTLY identified the double helix as a mechanism for replication
    The mechanism (“semi-conservative replication” was not proven experimentally until 1957, by Meselson and Stahl.
    "It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing that we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material."Nature171, 737–738 (1953)
    Image from healthanddna.com
  • 8. Transcription
    One strand of the DNA is copied into an RNA strand
    The RNA strand serves as a messenger (mRNA) that goes out into the cytoplasm to direct the synthesis of the corresponding protein
    RNA’s and their function studied in the late 1950’s and well into the 1960’s
    Image from http://www.le.ac.uk/ge/genie/vgec/he/expression.html
  • 9. Translation
    The RNA is translated into Protein
    Proteins are NOT nucleic acids... They are made of amino acids
    Notice that the Ribosome (the blob here) is focused on three nucleotides – that is the “CODON”
    Image from http://www.dorlingkindersley-uk.co.uk
  • 10. Not to over simplify…
    This image shows that Translation occurs outside the nucleus
    And that tRNA is involved in the protein synthesis process
    REGULATION – or Gene expression can be controlled at many different stages of the process
  • 11. ? HeLa Cells
    Uncontrolled cell growth due to errors in regulation
    Errors could be in any part of the process
    Errors are called Mutations
    Mutations can be genetic, environmental (virus, carcinogen, or various forms of energy); damage to the DNA can be cumulative
    In the case of HeLa, the cervical cancer was caused by a Human Papillomavirus (HPV-18) which integrated itself into a normal gene and then caused five different mutations including “numerical and structural chromosomal aberrations”
    Image from www.smithsonianmag.org
    Quote from Cancer Res.59 (1): 141–50
  • 12. Virus
    Virus are nucleic acids – HPV, HIV, polio, herpes, adenovirus (cold) etc…
    They are received into a cell where they insert their viral genetics into the cell’s normal routine and take over
    New virus are produced, killing the cell, taking over more cells, and wearing down the immune system
  • 13. Gene Therapy
    DNA can be inserted – therapeutically – into a cell in order to cause the cell to synthesize a missing or dysfunctional protein.
    Gene therapy has been used successfully in clinical trials for Cystic Fibrosis, some eye diseases, lung cancer, melanoma …
    Still in development
  • 14. Genetic Engineering(Transgenics)
    Insert DNA from one species into another species in order to acquire a new trait or characteristic.
    Common today in agriculture for improving yield (anti-pest genes) and marketability (harvest time, shipping, storage, shelf-life)
  • 15. DNA …