Deoxyribonucleic acid, commonly known as DNA, is nothing but a molecule encoding genetic information that governs a living organism’s development and functioning. Putting it in simpler language, DNA stores information about the genetic makeup of an organism. This genetic makeup is passed on from one generation to another. This is quite hardcore science and hence, we will not go into details. We will rather keep it simple and discuss 25 interesting DNA facts that will make you says – “whoa, really?” So, let us begin!
Interesting DNA Facts: 1-5
1. DNA stores all information that makes up any organism. That’s quite a lot of information but what’s interesting about DNA is that it is made of just four building blocks, which are – cytosine (C), thymine (T), guanine (G) and adenine (A).
2. There were some ancient viruses that used to infect humans but today, 8% of human DNA is actually made of those ancient viruses!
3. Human DNA is 95% identical to the DNA of chimpanzees. That’s quite understandable but what’s shocking is that human DNA is 50% identical to the DNA of bananas! You read it correctly! We said BANANAS!
4. Here is another shocker – cabbages and humans share about 40-50% of identical DNA. Yeah – cabbages – those that we eat! You know… those green leafy cabbages!
5. You know what? 1 single gram of DNA is capable of holding an amazing 700 terabytes of data!
Interesting DNA Facts: 6-10
6. If we want to store all digital information in this world, all we need is 2 grams of DNA.
7. Human penis once used to be spiny. That’s scary! Luckily that DNA code which made the penis spiny is lost. Around 700,000 years ago Neanderthals and modern humans got separate from a common ancestor and that is when the modern humans actually lost that DNA code. Good for us! Imagine how a woman would feel while performing fellatio of even penetrative sex!
8. Scientists have found out that a total of 510 DNA codes have been lost throughout the process of human evolution.
9. DNA is present in each and every cell of human body. Each DNA strand is 1.8 meters long but squeezed into a space of 0.09 micrometers!
10. If someone manages to unwind all DNA molecules in a human body and place them end to end, the total length that can be covered is 10 billion miles! That’s the distance covered in a trip from Earth to Pluto and back to Earth.
Interesting DNA Facts: 11-15
11. The center of our galaxy Milky Way contains molecular precursors of DNA.
12. The DNA in every cell of human body is damaged 1,000 to 1 million times every single day. Luckily our body has an elaborate system of repairing those damaged DNAs constantly. When the repairing mechanism fails events like cellular death or cancer formation takes place.
13. Do you really think Columbus was the first person to reach the New World (America)? You are wrong! This was achieved by Polynesians sometime in 13th century. This is actually suggested by DNA evidence. There are even stories that Antarctica was first visited by Polynesians around the year 650 and they describe the place as “a place of bitter cold where rock-like structures rose from a solid sea“.
14. It will take 50 years to type the entire human genome if someone types at a speed of 60 wpm (words per minute) and works 8 hours a day!
15. Mud worms, according to scientists, are the closest genetic relatives we have from the world of invertebrates. Human DNA is more similar to that of mud worms than other invertebrates such as cockroaches or octopus.
Interesting DNA Facts: 16-20
16. 99.9% of DNA is identical in all humans on this Earth. The remaining 0.1% is what helps us to differentiate between DNA sequences allowing us to tell which DNA belongs to whom.
17. DNA was first discovered in year 1869 by a man named Friedrich Miescher.
18. It was only in 1943 that scientists became aware of the fact that genetic information is stored in DNA. Prior to that, it was believed that genetic information was stored in proteins.
19. DNA damaged can be caused by Sun’s UV light. Damage may also be caused due to transcription error. There are various other factors that can cause DNA damage. Our body is equipped with a mechanism that can reverse these damages but not all damages can be repaired always. Unrepaired damages are nothing but mutation. This means that we almost always carry mutations, most of which are bad but some may be good.
20. According to researches, DNA has a half-life of 521 years. This simply means that the oldest animal or organism that can be cloned back to life cannot be older than 2 million years. Thus, replicating dinosaurs is literally impossible because they went extinct 65 million years ago.
Interesting DNA Facts: 21-25
21. If someone undergoes bone marrow transplant, the recipient may or may not have DNA of the donor. In most cases the recipient will not have foreign DNA.
22. Orbiting our Earth is a memory device that is known as ‘Immortal Drive’. The device is actually inside the International Space Station and it contains digitalized DNA sequence of Lance Armstrong, Stephen Colbert, Stephen Hawking and others. It is actually an attempt to preserve human race in event of a global catastrophe.
23. Earth did not have phosphates. Meteors were responsible for bringing reduced phosphorus earth which then oxidized for form phosphates and thereby creating the mechanism that generates RNA and DNA.
24. DNA is capable of replicating or duplicating itself, it is, it is capable of making an identical copy of itself and this is essential during cell division.
25. In point 14 we mentioned genome. A genome is nothing but the entire DNA sequence of an organism. One genome is estimated to have 3,000,000,000 DNA bases. Now a ‘base’ is nothing but a unit of DNA. To simplify even further, a base is a building block of DNA and there are 4 such building blocks as mentioned in the first point. These bases in turn pair up together to form genetic codes.
That concludes our 25 interesting DNA facts. That’s not the end! There are more and if you are willing to share some, you are welcome to do so through our comments section. We will be happy to learn more!
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