Are you interested in DNA and DNA testing? If so, you should love these 9 facts about DNA.
1. DNA uses only four building blocks
DNA is the acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid. Each DNA molecule is made from four building blocks, which are called nucleotides: adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine. These four buildings blocks are used to form the blueprints for all living organisms.
2. Your DNA is not as unique as you might think
Each human being shares 99% of their DNA with every other human beings. It means that we all have a lot in common! You also share approximately 99,5% of the DNA of your parents. The very small percentage you don’t share with anyone else is what makes you who you are.
3. Humans do have a lot in common with chimpanzees
That being said, human beings have a lot in common with chimpanzees. We share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees! What makes this even funnier is that scientists say the human DNA is 50% similar to the DNA of bananas.
4. The DNA contained in each of your cells is very long
The strand of DNA contained in each of your cells is almost 2 meters long. However, it’s coiled to fit inside each tiny cell of your body. You would need an electron microscope to be able to look at a DNA strand.
5. The DNA contained in all of your body is even longer
If your complete DNA could be uncoiled, it would be 10 billion miles long. That means it would be long enough to reach out to Pluto, and come back to Earth. Imagine if the DNA of each human being on our beautiful planet could be uncoiled!
6. Your DNA gets damaged every single day
Every single day, some errors occur and your DNA gets damaged. Fortunately, it can repair itself, but the errors that don’t get repaired will generate mutations that could cause different diseases, including cancer.
7. Old viruses are a part of our DNA
The genetic codes of very old viruses have been integrated with our DNA over the course of our evolution. Around 8% of the human DNA is made from viruses that used to infect us many millions of years ago.
8. DNA testing can warn you of genetic health problems
DNA testing can inform you of any potential genetic health problem you might have. Some people use DNA tests to figure out if their future children will be at risk of carrying genes responsible for certain diseases.
9. DNA testing can’t confirm your race
DNA testing can’t be used to confirm your race, but it can provide you with information about your biogeographical ancestry, and about your ancestral lineage. If you want to know more about your family history, a DNA test will give you answers to your questions, and will help you reinvent the way you see yourself.