Imagine… you are in charge of building a 200-story skyscraper. The skyscraper has all of the newest technological features, and production has to start tomorrow. Would it happen? Of course not, you would need blueprints. This goes with your body, too. When you are born, your body has to know where everything has to go. You know, a muscle cell goes to your biceps; a (fried) brain cell goes up into the attic. That is what chromosomes are. I am going to talk about chromosomes. They are your genetic blueprints, DNA and how you can extract DNA from anything that was living.
Chromosomes are your hereditary blueprints. These blueprints tell your body what colour eyes you will have. These chromosomes tell your body where everything goes in your body. This instruction set is known as DNA, which I will explain in the next paragraph. There are pairs of 23 chromosomes in all of the cells in your body. Making a total of 46 chromosomes. Two of those chromosomes tell whether you are going to be a male or a female. These are the X and Y-chromosomes. If someone has two X chromosomes then she will be a female. If there are an X and a Y chromosome then he will be a boy. Secondly, I will tell you about the DNA contained in the chromosomes.
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DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is the blueprint for the human we are going to build. This DNA is tightly wrapped around proteins. If this DNA were not tightly wrapped around proteins then the strand of DNA would be much too large to fit in a cell’s nucleus. The double helix-shaped DNA would be about 2 inches long. That two-inch long, skinny strand of DNA contains all of the information we need to build our very own human. Now how are we going to build our very own human? Well, that is (kind of) simple. We use RNA. RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. In simple terms, RNA builds the human really wanted. Now I bet you are thinking I wish I could get my very own DNA, but that will cost a lot of money… well you are wrong. Stay tuned and I will tell you how…
Now I am going to tell you how to extract DNA from anything living. There are 5 simple steps, and it will cost less than five dollars. First, you need to gather up some things. You will need something you want to “steal” DNA from. For our example, we will use peas. However you cannot take things like your pet, your little brother’s toe, or even your parents. You will also need some kind of detergent, meat tenderizer, alcohol, water, and salt. Next, you will put your peas, a large pinch of table salt, and about twice as much cold water as your peas into a blender, and crank it up on high for 15 seconds.
Next, you will need to strain your concoction. Now you will put about 2ml detergent into your mixture and swirl. Then you take a break for five to ten minutes. Pour the mixture in to test tubes. Next, add a pinch of meat tenderizer (enzymes) to the test tube. Next stir GENTLY. If you create a tornado; you will break up the DNA making it harder to see. Finally pour some alcohol into the test tube until you have a 50/50 mixture of pea soup and alcohol. Then the DNA will rise from the green pea mixture. There that wasn’t so hard.
In conclusion, I told you about the really large thin DNA blueprint, what DNA is made up of and how to extract your very own DNA from peas. I hoped you gained some insight into how your DNA creates a six-foot walking, talking skyscraper.
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