DNA contains the genetic code of life. While 99.9% of your DNA is identical to every other person on the planet, there is a 0.1% that is absolutely unique to you.These differences in your DNA, called variants, can be linked to certain health conditions and even physical traits like eye colour or a cleft chin. To better understand DNA, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions below.
Answer: DNA, short for Deoxyribonucleic Acid, is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. DNA is found in every cell of an person's body. Every individual inherits their DNA from both biological parents which is why children share traits with their parents, such as skin, hair and eye color.
Genes are segments of DNA. Each gene serves as an instruction manual for making a single protein. You have two copies of most genes, one inherited from your mother and one from your father. You can find out more about proteins below.
Proteins are your body’s main building materials that form a cell’s structural components and enzymes. Proteins cannot make copies of themselves. When a cell needs more proteins, it uses the manufacturing instructions coded in genes.
Nucleotides are the scientific name for the building blocks of DNA. These form the DNA sequence that spell out the instructions for forming proteins. There are four nucleotides abbreviated with the letters A, T, C, and G. This report tests which nucleotides you have at specific locations in your genes.
Each person’s DNA has a slightly different sequence. A polymorphism is when there is a part of the DNA sequence that differs between people.
Most polymorphisms have two possible variations. Each one of these variant sequences in a gene is called an allele. Because you have two copies of most genes, you may have two different alleles, or two copies of the same allele.
Human DNA comes in the form of tightly coiled strands, called chromosome, which are found inside the cell nucleus. There are 46 chromosomes in a human cell arranged in pairs, for a total of 23 pairs. We refer to the first 22 chromosome pairs as Autosomal, and these genetic records are numbered 1 through 22. The last pair are sex chromosomes, either XY for males or XX for females.