17 Things You Should Know About DNA [Infographic]

Are you a living creature? Then, congratulations! You have DNA! That microscopic little building block of life that makes us all the same, but grants us with distinct differences. But for as common as DNA is, it can be a though subject to understand. Below are some of the facts to help you better understand the little bit of genetic coding that makes you, you!

[Via OnlineEducation]

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14 Responses to 17 Things You Should Know About DNA [Infographic]

  1. There are no such things as "sugar and phosphate atoms". It should put "sugar and phosphate molecules", which are constituted by carbon, oxigen, hidrogen and phosphorous atoms

  2. There are no such things as “sugar and phosphate atoms”. It should put “sugar and phosphate molecules”, which are constituted by carbon, oxigen, hidrogen and phosphorous atoms

  3. "Siblings share 50% of their genes."

    No. Wrong. False.

    Siblings share a statistical mean average of (just a touch over) 50% of their genes, but it is entirely possible to have 0% (if you got the *exact* complement of genes) or 100% (identical twins, anyone?). In fact, just from two siblings being both male or female, you can guarantee they have at least one sex chromosome in common, or explicitly not in common in the case of one male and one female.

    Also, the reason the average is slightly OVER 50% and not dead-on is because 0% common genes happens only when two independent fertilizations are precise complements, while 100% common genes can happen by the same chance or by a single fertilization splitting. That latter circumstance of splitting is significantly more common.

    And don't even get me started on zygote-level chimeras and absorbed foetal twins, etc…

  4. “Siblings share 50% of their genes.”

    No. Wrong. False.

    Siblings share a statistical mean average of (just a touch over) 50% of their genes, but it is entirely possible to have 0% (if you got the *exact* complement of genes) or 100% (identical twins, anyone?). In fact, just from two siblings being both male or female, you can guarantee they have at least one sex chromosome in common, or explicitly not in common in the case of one male and one female.

    Also, the reason the average is slightly OVER 50% and not dead-on is because 0% common genes happens only when two independent fertilizations are precise complements, while 100% common genes can happen by the same chance or by a single fertilization splitting. That latter circumstance of splitting is significantly more common.

    And don’t even get me started on zygote-level chimeras and absorbed foetal twins, etc…

  5. Not that I know anything about biology, but with four potential bases a megabase = 4^1,000,000 combinations

    A megabyte however = (2^8)^(1024*1024), which we can simplify to 256^1,048,576.

    Unless I'm missing something, biologists are either very bad at maths or have no idea what a byte is.

  6. Not that I know anything about biology, but with four potential bases a megabase = 4^1,000,000 combinations
    A megabyte however = (2^8)^(1024*1024), which we can simplify to 256^1,048,576.

    Unless I’m missing something, biologists are either very bad at maths or have no idea what a byte is.

  7. You have some of the right thinking, but you seem a bit fuzzy around the edges…

    Four base pairs would be represented as two bits, not four. We can imagine something like A=00;T=01;C=10;G=11. In that, an estimated (and it IS an estimate only) three billion base pairs would be six billion bits.

    Now, in proper metric, a Kilo "K" is 10^3 (or 1,000), a Mega "M" is K^2 (or 1,000,000), and a Giga "G" is K^3 (or 1,000,000,000). In that, the genome would be six Gigabits.

    But what of the 1024 thing? This is mathematical trickery. Since processors work only in base 2, the closest equivalent to Kilo is 2^10. Whenever something needs to be computed in base 2, they use that instead. Marketing companies take advantage of that since the error compounds the larger the number becomes, and market based off base 10 for something the OS will evaluate in base 2. This is why a new 500GB drive only shows as 465GB once you plug it in.

    So, in most meaningful contexts, it still makes more sense to use the classic 10^3 notation. Since a byte is 8 bits, a six Gigabit data load would need only 3/4 of one Gigabyte to store — enough to leave plenty of room for error in the estimate. You could store your entire genome on a 1GB flash drive. On the other hand, ours is only one genome, so if you wanted to store a larger one such as the onion (with about six times as long of a genome as humans) you'd be right back up there in file size.

  8. You have some of the right thinking, but you seem a bit fuzzy around the edges…

    Four base pairs would be represented as two bits, not four. We can imagine something like A=00;T=01;C=10;G=11. In that, an estimated (and it IS an estimate only) three billion base pairs would be six billion bits.

    Now, in proper metric, a Kilo “K” is 10^3 (or 1,000), a Mega “M” is K^2 (or 1,000,000), and a Giga “G” is K^3 (or 1,000,000,000). In that, the genome would be six Gigabits.

    But what of the 1024 thing? This is mathematical trickery. Since processors work only in base 2, the closest equivalent to Kilo is 2^10. Whenever something needs to be computed in base 2, they use that instead. Marketing companies take advantage of that since the error compounds the larger the number becomes, and market based off base 10 for something the OS will evaluate in base 2. This is why a new 500GB drive only shows as 465GB once you plug it in.

    So, in most meaningful contexts, it still makes more sense to use the classic 10^3 notation. Since a byte is 8 bits, a six Gigabit data load would need only 3/4 of one Gigabyte to store — enough to leave plenty of room for error in the estimate. You could store your entire genome on a 1GB flash drive. On the other hand, ours is only one genome, so if you wanted to store a larger one such as the onion (with about six times as long of a genome as humans) you’d be right back up there in file size.

  9. The claim that human and chimp DNA is 94-99% identical is also false. A recent article in "Nature" (Hughes, J.F. et al. 2010. Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure gene content. Nature. 463 (7280): 536-539.)shows that the similarities between human and chimp DNA are postulated at 70%, with some researchers thinking that that number may be high. More conservative estimates are coming in at between 50-70% similarity.

  10. The claim that human and chimp DNA is 94-99% identical is also false. A recent article in “Nature” (Hughes, J.F. et al. 2010. Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure gene content. Nature. 463 (7280): 536-539.)shows that the similarities between human and chimp DNA are postulated at 70%, with some researchers thinking that that number may be high. More conservative estimates are coming in at between 50-70% similarity.

  11. Is the guy in the "final draft was completed" panel displaying a facepalm at how bad this infographic is?

  12. Is the guy in the “final draft was completed” panel displaying a facepalm at how bad this infographic is?

  13. OK, maybe this is a small gripe compared to some of the others, but it caught me right at the beginning. Excuse me but not,"all living things contain D.N.A." Some living things contain just R.N.A.! Now I realize most of those are Viruses, and a Virus is sort of on the edge of what we consider "living", etc……Now if they had said,"All living things have "Nucleic Acid", or "Genetic material", I'd be a much happier camper…