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Posted over 6 years

DNA: Your Body's Blueprint

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is the molecule which contains all the information for life. It can be thought of as a blueprint or an instruction manual for how everything necessary for life must be done. At the smallest level, DNA is organized into a double helix. The DNA helix is then repeatedly coiled to allow more of it to fit into a compact space. This helix replicates and passes on its information to the body's cells. In humans, all the DNA is packaged into 46 separate molecules called "chromosomes." The chromosomes each contain thousands of genes, with each gene specifying how to make a particular protein necessary for cellular function. Scientists have long thought that the key to understanding human life lies in knowing the entire sequence of human DNA. For this reason, the National Institutes of Health are funding the human genome project. The mission of the human genome project is to sequence all the DNA contained within a human cell. This is a project of enormous magnitude that will likely take many years to complete.
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