Many of us are familiar with the famous double-helix ladder structure that makes up the building blocks of life – also known as DNA! DNA, or Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, is one of the most fascinating discoveries of our time that provides all living things with the instructions to grow and thrive. But what if there was a better way to dive into the tough and complex history and functions of DNA? Let’s take a look!
First, Let’s Do a Quick Overview of DNA
The existence of DNA was known for decades before a breakthrough discovery about the structure was unlocked. In 1953 two researchers James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the famous double-helix structure at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England. They had announced they discovered “the secret to life” and had their discovery published in “Nature” on April 25th. Since then we have continued to discover new information about DNA and how it shapes our world.
DNA is the most important hereditary molecule of every living organism on our planet! DNA itself makes up the genome and holds information that’s necessary to our growth and development and ongoing health. Most genes are made up of 100 rungs on the ladder and are composed of three main parts including nucleic bases, phosphates, and deoxyribose sugars. Within the molecule are four different types of bases – adenine and thymine as well as guanine and cytosine. Methyl tags, made up of one carbon and three hydrogen also play an important role in turning the gene “on” and “off”.
Why Should We Learn About It?
You might be asking yourself, “but I don’t plan on becoming a doctor or scientist, why should I learn about DNA?” The world of DNA isn’t just fascinating but gives students a greater understanding of their body and the world around them while simultaneously developing critical thinking and problem solving skills they’ll take with them regardless of their career field. In this day and age, science is critical to build a functional understanding of problems and questions we have on a daily basis. Build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and curious, questioning minds.
But What Now?
However, all of this is just the beginning! There is an entire world of DNA to uncover and explore including the role of sugars, RNA, macromolecules, and so much more. As mentioned previously, DNA is the building block of life for each living organism and understanding this incredible discovery is often necessary to understanding and building a strong foundation for the sciences.
That’s where DNA and Beyond steps in. DNA and Beyond takes a new approach to understanding DNA and the human genome by introducing an online curriculum alongside a 38-inch flexible DNA model to provide a visual and tactile learning experience that helps students not just memorize but fully grasp and utilize complex concepts. Our online curriculum breaks down complex topics into smaller lessons that includes quizzes and activities to help students learn. Not quite sure about our full curriculum yet? No problem! Enjoy the first lesson from our curriculum completely free (no credit-card required!) by visiting us at https://dnaandbeyond.org/curriculum/ and get started today.