October 26, 2021

Everything You Wanted To Know About DNA

DNA is still a mystery to many people. It is a complicated and complex part of the human body. Human DNA is 99% the same between all people.
Tomohiro Takano

The science around DNA has evolved rapidly over the last decade, with home DNA test kits, health reports, and even diet and exercise reports based on your specific genetic makeup. In addition, it is also possible to learn about your ancestry, including your ethnicity and how your ancestors migrated across the world. 

DNA is still a mystery to many people. It is a complicated and complex part of the human body. It is easier to understand if you think of it as a blueprint that creates people as part of the human species but also provides for the slight differences that make everyone unique. 

The Makeup Of DNA 

Biology class in high school teaches that DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is found in all living things and is passed down through generations from parents to offspring. 

DNA is a double helix shape that is made up of nucleotides. These are molecules that include a sugar group, phosphate group, and one of four possible nitrogen bases. The base can be adenine, thymine, guanine, or cystine. The sugar and phosphate molecules are the outer straight, long sides of the DNA, while the base forms the bridge between. There result is a long strand of 3 billion of these pairs, creating what looks like a twisting ladder. The DNA strands are stored in the body in chromosomes, and each cell has 32 pairs of chromosomes that are found in the nucleus. 

Human DNA is 99% the same between all people. The small difference, the less than 1% of these base pairs, is what makes us all look unique. 

The Discovery

The first successful separation of DNA from other cells was completed in 1869 by a Swiss biochemist. Friedrich Miescher called it nuclein but did not understand the importance of the discovery. 

In 1952, Rosalind Franklin was able to determine the helical structure. Unfortunately, this information was used without her knowledge by another scientist in the lab, Maurice Wilkins, as well as James Watson and Francis Crick. They used the helical strand and identified the bases. They also published a paper without crediting Ms. Franklin and were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

What Does DNA Testing Provide?

Despite what many people believe, DNA testing cannot accurately tell a person's race. It can provide insight into the probability of having an ancestor from a general geographic area. It does this by matching the genetic markers, or that 1% of different genetic material, with others in a database based on similarities. 

In addition, the DNA results can be used with databases to find others with similar genetic patterns. This allows people to find near and distant relatives or to build a family tree going back generations. 

In addition, DNA testing can be used to identify known genetic markers for specific health conditions. These mutations can be identified, as in specific types of cancers, to help people understand their risk for developing these conditions. 

Genomelink offers the most up-to-date information on DNA testing kits, reports, and the science behind DNA. Browse our selection of reports available with a simple upload of your raw DNA data file.

Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO