WHY IS DNA REPLICATION IMPORTANT?
Before we get into the topic of the day “Why is DNA replication important”, let’s have a background information on DNA.
WHAT IS A DNA?
DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule that contains the genetic code of organisms. This includes animals, plants, protists, archaea and bacteria. DNA is in each cell in the organism and tells cells what proteins to make.
DNA is a molecule composed of two polynucleotide chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses. DNA and ribonucleic acid are nucleic acids.
The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases namely:
• Adenine (A),
• Guanine (G),
• Cytosine (C),
• Thymine (T)
WHAT ARE THE FUNCTIONS OF DNA?
The main role of DNA in the cell is the long-term storage of information. It is often compared to a blueprint, since it contains the instructions to construct other components of the cell, such as proteins and RNA molecules.
DNA is pivotal to our growth, reproduction, and health. It contains the instructions necessary for your cells to produce proteins that affect many different processes and functions in your body. Because DNA is so important, damage or mutations can sometimes contribute to the development of disease.
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WHAT ARE THE 3 TYPES OF DNA?
Three major forms of DNA are double stranded and connected by interactions between complementary base pairs. These are;
❖ Z-form DNA
❖ Your genome is made of a chemical called deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA for short.
❖ DNA contains four basic building blocks or bases, adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T).
❖ The order, or sequence, of the above mentioned bases or blocks form the instructions in the genome.
❖ DNA is a two-stranded molecule.
❖ DNA has a unique ‘double helix’ shape, like a twisted ladder.
DNA was first observed by a German biochemist named Frederich Miescher in 1869. But for many years, researchers did not realize the importance of this molecule. It was not until 1953 that James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin figured out the structure of DNA — a double helix — which they realized could carry biological information.
WHAT IS DNA REPLICATION?
DNA replication is the process by which a double-stranded DNA molecule is copied to produce two identical DNA molecules. DNA replication is one of the most basic processes that occurs within a cell.
DNA replication is the biological process of producing two identical replicas of DNA from one original DNA molecule.
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4 STEPS IN DNA REPLICATION
Replication Fork Formation: Before DNA can be replicated, the double stranded molecule must be “unzipped” into two single strands.
Primer Binding: The leading strand is the simplest to replicate.
WHY IS DNA REPLICATION IMPORTANT?
The purpose of DNA replication is to produce two identical copies of a DNA molecule. This is essential for cell division during growth or repair of damaged tissues. DNA replication ensures that each new cell receives its own copy of the DNA.
The information stored in the DNA is essential for life. If a cell dies the body must replace that cell. The only way to replace the cells is to first copy the information that the cell contained. There is a complex system of proteins and enzymes that unravel the DNA double helix so that the DNA can be copied.