What Is DNA? | Between Two Nerds #9
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What Is DNA? | Between Two Nerds #9


Okay, Hussein, take it away. What would you
like to discuss? Basically, DNA, what does DNA stand for? Okay, cool. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic
acid. So deoxyribo that’s the D part, nucleic is the N, and Acid is the A. Okay. And what happens if there is a tiny
error in your DNA which doesn’t match with all your other DNA strands? Okay. You’d have three arms. Could possibly. I mean, actually no. Okay,
so, first of all, let’s explain what DNA is. Something that like forms your gene and like
makes you tall, small, fat. Yeah, all of it! And it makes you look unique or something? Yes, exactly. So DNA is a name of a chemical
molecule that is used to store your genes. So genes are the instructions to make a living
thing, okay, so any living thing, right? So not just humans, dogs, cats, all life has
some sort of DNA or RNA, and in that those are the instructions to not only make that
living thing but also it determines how it would function as well. What’s RNA? Ah. Early DNA? That’s Ribonucleic acid. So DNA, do you know
that the structure of DNA? This the where that model would have been useful. Like a spiral? Yeah. You take a ladder, and you twist that
ladder, and that’s your DNA structure, double stranded. So it’s like two spirals. Yes, exactly, that’s it. The double helix
structure. RNA is just a single strand, so it’s a bit simpler, probably even older, right
than DNA. And even like, so some living things like bacteria, they actually have RNA and
not DNA, okay. But actually, we also have RNA in our bodies. But RNA is one strand and DNA is loads of
strands? Two strands. It’s twice as good. Is RNA like the smaller life and DNA for the
bigger… Earlier life. So bacteria would have RNA and not DNA, okay. Dinosaurs? They must have DNA. I think more complex life has RNA; we have
RNA. RNA has functions in our body as well as in like sending bits of code to other parts
of the cell, and there are a few other reasons, so we have RNA as well, okay. So your genes,
you used the word genes as well. So the gene is like, it’s a bit of this code that… codes
for one particular characteristic. So you could have a gene that’s for your eye color,
right? You could have a gene for whether you have flappy ears or fixed ear. That’s why some people have like different
colored eyes like maybe cats, dogs, humans. Some like maybe have blue eye here, green
eye here. Yes, actually, I knew a person who does that,
some dogs Huskies have that way one blue, one green eye. Yes. And maybe that’s like because you said
one gene is for one particular thing. One particular characteristic. One particular characteristic. Is one gene
for one eye or both of them? Uhhh, good question. Because if it’s the two eyes, maybe they kind
of have like a difference? Or it’s just that the cell in that eye, that
gene is switched on. So let’s say the person that has green and blue eyes, one green one
blue eye. In those cells in your iris are coded for the blue color, and the other one,
they are coded for the green color. There’s not like one is, the right eye is going to
be that. My six-year-old son’s teacher has two different
color eyes, and she is convinced him means she can see fairies. That’s science. That’s teaching as well. Absolutely. Amazing. So that’s a gene. what is DNA created out of? Like what is it
made of? What creates them? Okay, Deoxyribo, so we’re getting very technical.
So let’s say that name, you know, the long version of deoxyribonucleic acid that kind
of tells you what’s in it. So the Ribo part, ribose is a sugar-like glucose and sucrose,
fructose, lactose, right? So ribose without an oxygen molecule. That forms the backbone,
something called a phosphate group. And then the nucleic acid, it’s a type of chemical,
made from amino acids. There’s adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. You are going to remember them, aren’t you? I think I’ve heard of this before. In the class, we had on DNA? And we actually,
so when you see the code, when you see like models, you’ll see that their code, just the
initials are given, so A T C G. Soes it have to be one in particular, like
maybe A with T or B with C or something? B and C? I didn’t say B. So they have a
very specific shape, these molecules, kind of like jigsaw pieces. And A adenine can only
attach onto thymine, so A and T will always link up, and C and G always link up as well. Do you like create new DNA all the time? No, but your DNA will change, though. Is it possible for someone to like lose DNA
somehow? Sort of. Okay, so the quality of the DNA as
you get older, and part of the reason why you get older, is because your DNA kind of
doesn’t, it’s like you said going back to the book analogy, there’s like pages missing
in certain cells. So certain cells are not getting the whole copy, or someone’s scribbled
in and like written some other stuff, that’s like a mutation, right? As you get older,
which is why our bodies kind of start to break down, so you have that to look forward to.
Alright, so your cells, they’re just not working with the full code anymore, full instruction
manual. I think this is kind of hygiene DNA, but you
said bacteria has RNA? Well remembered, good job. So the bacteria that goes on your teeth, which
like makes it yellow or black. Is that putting some kind of bad RNA or DNA onto your teeth? No, you’re not going to affect your own DNA
or absorb the bacteria into your instruction manual. Although those bacteria are a problem
in their own right.

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