Molecular Biology & DNA

A:

Genetic information is stored in several places, which are DNA molecules, genes, chromosomes, mitochondria and the genome. Different amounts and types of genetic information are stored in these locations. The majority of genetic information is stored within individual DNA molecules, although it is found in other cellular locations as well.

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  • What is genetic equilibrium?

    Q: What is genetic equilibrium?

    A: Genetic equilibrium is the stabilization of genetic mutation within a species. The concept comes from the Hardy-Weinberg principle, and it serves as the measurement for evolutionary change.
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  • What is the relationship between chromosomes, DNA and genes?

    Q: What is the relationship between chromosomes, DNA and genes?

    A: Chromosomes are paired long chains within a cell nucleus that are composed of genes (about 20,000 genes per chromosome pair), which are made up of the chemical substance called DNA. Genes on the chromosomes are made of segments of DNA which contain chemically coded messages resulting in the characteristics of an organism — including humans.
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  • What is a gene chip?

    Q: What is a gene chip?

    A: A DNA microchip or gene chip is a tiny chip that has many single strands of the DNA from a specific gene attached to it. Sometimes a microchip has more than one gene's DNA on it or different variations of a gene. It is used to test for gene mutations, such as the ones that are thought to be responsible for a larger percentage of hereditary breast cancer cases.
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  • How does molecular size affect diffusion rate?

    Q: How does molecular size affect diffusion rate?

    A: Diffusion rates are dependent on molecular sizes because larger molecules diffuse slower than smaller molecules. The sizes of the particles involved in the diffusion are important because they closely relate to the concepts of heat and energy in the context of diffusion. It takes more energy and heat to move a larger object than a smaller one, so larger particles require more heat from their surroundings.
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  • What is the Hardy-Weinberg principle?

    Q: What is the Hardy-Weinberg principle?

    A: The Hardy-Weinberg principle states that the genetic variation in a population stays constant over generations in the absence of disruptive factors. The concept predicts that when mating occurs randomly in a vast population, the allele and genotype frequencies remain consistent because they are in equilibrium.
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  • What class of macromolecules does DNA belong to?

    Q: What class of macromolecules does DNA belong to?

    A: DNA, also known as deoxyribonucleic acid, belongs to a class of polymeric organic macromolecules called nucleic acids. The only other member of this class is ribonucleic acid, or RNA. Nucleic acids were first discovered in 1869 by the Swiss scientist Friedrich Miescher.
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  • Why does DNA need to replicate?

    Q: Why does DNA need to replicate?

    A: DNA replicates to make copies of itself. This is an indispensable process that allows cells to divide for a living organism to grow or reproduce. Each new cell needs a DNA copy, which serves as instructions on how to function as a cell.
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  • What is the chemical composition of carbohydrates?

    Q: What is the chemical composition of carbohydrates?

    A: All carbohydrates are made from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They have twice as many hydrogen atoms as oxygen atoms. The word "carbohydrate" is a combination of the names of these elements and means "watered carbon." The presence of carbon makes carbohydrates organic, rather than inorganic, compounds.
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  • What is RNA primase?

    Q: What is RNA primase?

    A: According to Scitable, RNA primase is an enzyme involved in the replication of DNA strands during cell division. It goes over a single DNA strand and creates RNA sequences called primers, which transcribe DNA into RNA. These short sequences of RNA are complementary to the DNA strand they were hovering over, and serve as a template for a new strand of DNA.
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  • What is the function of the Golgi body?

    Q: What is the function of the Golgi body?

    A: The Golgi apparatus collects simple chemicals in the cell and assembles them into large, complex structures such as proteins. It also plays a role in the process of simple chemical secretion by forming closed vesicles around the substance to be transported. These vesicles then pinch off from the Golgi apparatus and drift to the cell's plasma membrane where the transported substance is released from the cell.
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  • How are mutations passed on to offspring?

    Q: How are mutations passed on to offspring?

    A: The NIH Genetics Home Reference Handbook explains that mutations are passed to offspring if these mutations are present in germ line (sperm or egg) cells. Germ line mutations can occur early in the parent's development so that they affect all of the cells in the parent's body, including eventual gametes. These mutations can also occur in gametes alone and therefore only affect offspring.
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  • What is the purpose of chromosomes?

    Q: What is the purpose of chromosomes?

    A: Chromosomes assist in the process of cell division by distributing DNA. They act as a container to hold in the DNA molecules.
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  • Are freckles a dominant or recessive trait?

    Q: Are freckles a dominant or recessive trait?

    A: Freckles are a dominant trait. Freckles come from genes and the sun and are most often seen on people with light-colored skin.
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  • What are the repeating units that DNA is made of called?

    Q: What are the repeating units that DNA is made of called?

    A: DNA is made of repeating units called nucleotides. The four nucleotides in DNA are adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. Adenine binds with thymine, and guanine binds with cytosine.
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  • Why did Mendel choose peas for his experiments?

    Q: Why did Mendel choose peas for his experiments?

    A: Gregor Mendel, a monk and teacher from Central Europe, chose common garden peas, or Pisum sativum, for his experiments in genetics because peas are easily grown in numbers large enough to be useful for his experiments and their reproduction can be altered. Pollen could be transferred from one pea flower to another with a paintbrush.
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  • What is an example of mutualism in the rainforest?

    Q: What is an example of mutualism in the rainforest?

    A: An example of mutualism in the rainforest is the pollination of the Durian tree by bats. However, there are many other examples of mutualism in this type of ecosystem.
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  • Why do plant cells have bigger vacuoles than animal cells?

    Q: Why do plant cells have bigger vacuoles than animal cells?

    A: Plant cell vacuoles serve the same vital storage functions for nutrients, water and wastes as those in animal cells but are much larger because they also provide structural stiffness in combination with the plant's cell walls. This is why water-starved plants droop; their cells have essentially deflated. If a living but wilted plant once again receives sufficient water, it regains its former stiffness as the vacuoles refill.
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  • What is a crime laboratory analyst?

    Q: What is a crime laboratory analyst?

    A: Criminal Justice Degree Schools define a crime laboratory analyst as a person who classifies and processes physical evidence gathered from crime scenes. His job is to help investigators determine methods used in crime and possible suspects on the basis of evidence.
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  • What is microbiology laboratory equipment, and how is it used?

    Q: What is microbiology laboratory equipment, and how is it used?

    A: Microbiology lab equipment provides scientists with the capability of studying microscopic organisms by increasing their apparent size, allowing them to investigate their growth patterns. Examples of microbiology lab equipment include microscopes, petri dishes and bacterial counters. Microscopes allow scientists to see the organisms they study, while petri dishes allow bacteria to grow, and counters allow scientists to count the number of cells present in a sample.
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  • What is chromatin made of?

    Q: What is chromatin made of?

    A: Chromatin is made of nucleic acids, such as DNA or RNA, and proteins. During cell division, chromatin condenses to form chromosomes. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells differ in where chromatin is housed. In eukaryotes, it is located in the nucleus and in prokaryotes, it is located in the nucleoid.
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  • What is the purpose of ethanol in DNA extraction?

    Q: What is the purpose of ethanol in DNA extraction?

    A: Ethanol is used in DNA extraction to force the DNA to precipitate in a solution. In order to collect a DNA sample, cells are broken down through agitation, then mixed with water, salt and ethanol to create an aqueous solution. Ethanol and salt work to prevent the DNA from dissolving into the water, instead causing it to precipitate out so it can be separated and extracted using a centrifuge.
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