DNA is pretty amazing! While it is widely known that humans can share up to 98% of their DNA with chimpanzees, did you know that cabbages and humans share about 40-50%! Also the closest genetic relatives we have from the world of invertebrates are mudworms! Good to know we are more closely related to them than we are to cockroaches! 99.9% of DNA is identical in all humans on this Earth. The remaining 0.1% is what helps us to differentiate between us.
Scientists have come up with a new system of storing data in DNA. Capable of storing 215 petabytes (215 million gigabytes) in a single gram, in principle,every bit of datum ever recorded by humans could be stored in a container about the size and weight of a couple of pickup trucks. Even more amazing is that each DNA strand is 1.8 meters long but squeezed into a tiny space of 0.09 micrometers. If all DNA molecules in a human body were unwound and placed end to end, the total length that can be covered is 10 billion miles. In other words, the distance to travel from Earth to Pluto…… and back again!
GCSE scientists – you need to be able to explain the structure of DNA. For help, try our new guide “How to work with DNA”. It includes a description of its structure. In addition there is information on how to extract it from fruit. As always there are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.
Click on the picture below to see the guide.
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