DNA: A Graphic Guide to the Molecule that Shook the World
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With humor, depth, and philosophical and historical insight, DNA reaches out to a wide range of readers with its graphic portrayal of a complicated science. Suitable for use in and out of the classroom, this volume covers DNA's many marvels, from its original discovery in 1869 to early-twentieth-century debates on the mechanisms of inheritance and the deeper nature of life's evolution and variety.
Even readers who lack a background in science and philosophy will learn a tremendous amount from this engaging narrative. The book elucidates DNA's relationship to health and the cause and cure of disease. It also covers the creation of new life forms, nanomachines, and perspectives on crime detection, and considers the philosophical sources of classical Darwinian theory and recent, radical changes in the understanding of evolution itself. Already these developments have profoundly affected our notions about living things. Borin Van Loon's humorous illustrations recount the contributions of Gregor Mendel, Frederick Griffith, James Watson, and Francis Crick, among other biologists, scientists, and researchers, and vividly depict the modern controversies surrounding the Human Genome Project and cloning.
details of information storage, with viruses providing the greatest deviation. The genome of poliovirus is a single-stranded RNA which serves directly as a messenger RNA. And influenza virus uses helical rods of double-stranded RNA to store its genetic information, with a separate rod for each gene. Provocatively, scientists using cloning technology have made DNA equivalents to poliovirus and influenza genes. When introduced into animal cells, these homologues direct the synthesis of poliovirus
be possible with Aplysia. But most behavior is not the consequence of a specific gene. Our linguistic ability certainly has a genetic basis in the organization of the brain, but the language that we speak is not determined by our genes. Children of English-speaking parents are not born with “English language” genes anymore than children of Japanese parents are born with “Japanese language” genes. Rather we are born with a capacity to learn any language to which we might be exposed. There are no
created when the peptide chain folds. ENZYME A protein molecule that catalyzes biochemical reactions. Examples are betagalactosidase, which catalyzes the hydrolysis (cleavage with the addition of water) of specific bonds in sugars called beta-galactosides, and RNA polymerase, which catalyzes the linkage of ribonucleotides to one another to make an RNA chain. Enzymes differ from synthetic catalysts in that they exhibit exquisite specificity in the reactions that they catalyze and that they
regularity to the composition of DNA. but Chargaff’s rules on their own were insufficient to explain the regularities that Chargaff observed. DNA is a macromolecule and most of its interesting features are lost when it is degraded. The successful experimental approach for determining DNA structure had to be capable of analyzing DNA intact, in its macromolecular form. One such technique was X-ray diffraction, which was developed in Cambridge by the Braggs, father and son, at the Cavendish
life-forms. In 2006, Kazutoshi Takahashi and Shinya Yamanaka working in Kyoto were able to get mature mouse cells to return (“revert”) to an embryonic state, opening the possibility of creating clones without gene transfer. The rapid progress in stem cell research has raised the possibility of generating new nerve cells, heart tissue, liver, bone or other organs to replace diseased or accidentally damaged tissues. Stem cells are also an essential part of contemporary research into the