• Question: What is DNA ?

    Asked by emilia to Amelia, Jim, Liz, Prateek, Richard on 23 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Jim Caryl

      Jim Caryl answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Have a read of this basic description of DNA http://beaker.sanfordburnham.org/?p=1961

      Also have a watch of the video. It shows an animation of how the code of the DNA (the information it stores) in a gene (the functional unit of DNA that describes how to make a protein) is transcribed (copied) into a chemical cousin of DNA called RNA. It is this molecule that transfers the message to the protein-making machinery (called a ribosome) and acts as a template to make a protein from the correct order of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). As different genes will have a different sequence of the bases that make up DNA, so too the RNA will carry these different sequences to the ribosome, and each protein will be made of a different sequence of amino acids – this is what leads to the many different shapes and sizes – and therefore functions – or proteins.

    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      If that’s not enough then here’s another great website:


      It has info on the basics of DNA, mutations, inheritance and the Human Genome Project! Enjoy! 🙂