Here are the top 6 misconceptions about DNA and some corrective observations.
More correctly, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a molecule of nucleic acid.
- DNA is only found in humans
No, it’s found throughout all living things in nature, though of course it differs in terms of its coding from one life form to another.
By way of instance, if you have any pet animals they will also have DNA.
- Life Can’t exist without DNA
This is a really tricky one since you can argue for quite a lengthy period of time about whether matters such as viruses are alive or not.
Should you think that viruses constitute life, then the statement isn’t entirely accurate. Some viruses do contain DNA while some do not and use instead RNA (Ribonucleic acid) as a way of communicating genetic information. HIV is 1 example of a virus that does not contain DNA.
Theoreticians also have speculated as to whether more sophisticated life could develop without DNA and some are convinced that there is no reason why an alternative mechanism for passing on genetic information couldn’t have developed elsewhere. This is a choice discussion point amongst the scientific community debating whether extra-terrestrial life exists.
It is difficult to extract DNA
No, it is not.
In fact, the basic chemistry behind the processes is now relatively simple and related experiments are often conducted in several schools as part of the science lessons.
- It’s only useful, in an applied sense, in forensic work
On the contrary, knowing DNA and potentially using that understanding to generate treatments, is one of the fastest-growing and potentially most promising areas of medical research today. A whole range of treatments seem to be breaking from this area.
It’s also proving to be quite helpful in understanding the evolutionary history of various human and other animal populations around the world. This is sometimes known as DNA-archaeology or DNA-anthropology etc..
More commercially, organisations are currently encoding unique DNA markers into products to be able to ensure that they can’t be readily or profitably be faked and counterfeited. These are sometimes referred to as”brand integrity solutions.”
- You can utilize DNA at birth to forecast all the disorders someone will get as they get older
Unfortunately, you can’t.
Although this is often depicted in science fiction books and movies, at the present time it is only possible to analyse the DNA of a newly born child to search for a relatively few of certain identified problems that will signify he or she will develop a certain condition in the future.
In other situations, it’s now understood that certain genetic combinations can indicate that the person concerned will have certain genetic predispositions towards a condition later in life. That’s far from the same thing as saying that medical science can currently say with certainty that they will develop those conditions.
Numerous illnesses in life are linked to lifestyle choices or the misfortune of picking up something infectious. These might be entirely unrelated to your genes. So, as not all diseases and conditions are directly related to genetics they cannot be predicted by analysis at birth.