Talk:Deoxyribonucleic acid

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"All living creatures contain DNA" might be pushing it. Viruses and retroviruses, AFAIK, only have RNA. Human 21:46, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

That's not quite correct, viruses have both single and double strand DNA and RNA, depending on the species. Since the debate still rages as to whether virii are really "alive" (it's also a problem of definition, like "is Pluto a planet?"), I think for this blog's purposes "life" can be considered to start at a cellular minimum, and the statement that all life has DNA can stand. Human 21:44, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Pushing my knowledge slightly but I'm fairly sure that virus's aren't actually living. MatteeNeutra 11:51, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
It's definitely a matter of debate at some levels - it depends on how you define "living", of course. One simplistic way would be to define life as things with DNA, making the definition here tautological. In my opinion, I think better definitions revolve around self-replication, which viruses certainly do. That they need other living things to achieve this is irrelevant, since most living things depend on others in order to replicate - for food, at the very least. Even retroviruses prions, which as I recall are little more than a protein coverin gover a snippet of RNA, would meet this definition of "life", and I really see no problem with that. Human 13:00, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
One problem with this level of definition is that crystals grow as well, in the right environment, effectively "reproducing". And I don't think anyone thinks crystals are alive (except maybe a few new agers?). Again, it comes down to trying to determine a scientific, useful definition for a "common language" word (cf. planet, above). I think most of this sort of discussion is beyond the scope of this baramin-based wiki/blog, though. Human 21:44, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Oh okay! Seems to make sense to me, but as I said my knowledge is fairly limited! Cheers for the clear up. MatteeNeutra 11:50, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

A double helix is just like one ladder that is twisted around. The two sides of the ladder are the helices (and in this analogy, the base pairs are the rungs, of course). Gattaca! Human 11:47, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

I have to laugh, the cloning guide was cute:). Viruses are not considered living and DNA is not just found in living organisms, DNA is a very stable molecule and can survive many different environmental conditions so I would suggest dropping that bit from the first paragraph.--TimS 14:58, 1 May 2007 (EDT)

DNA and genes

Despite improving the reference, I still don't think it's clear how DNA and genes affect things like the amount of pigmentation in hair or eyes. Perhaps that is beyond the scope of the DNA article.

If so, I'd like to see an article which explains this in detail. Like,

  • when this pattern of DNA is present in the gene, your children will have blond hair, otherwise, black hair.

This assumes that scientists really know this much. --Ed Poor Talk 13:03, 11 July 2007 (EDT)

Actually they do different hair coulours result from mutations to the MC1R gene the allele of which have been sequenced [1] BannerN 07:05, 27 January 2010 (EST)



"Whatever their individual beliefs, only human beings have learned to analyze and use their DNA, and only humans can learn to use that knowledge wisely."

Can we be sure of this? I don't think there are any articles that can prove this is exactly true. Also, I'm new to this site, so I'm not sure how to correctly sign off.

(Reagansbiotch 7/29/07, 12:27 a.m. EDT)


Expanding article detail

I'm trying to expand this article and maybe even expand a few of the related articles. I made some changes this morning, but I'm looking for feedback before I continue expanding this article. I don't know what level of detail would be appropriate for this article; the encyclopedist in me wants to add esoteric details, the internet user in me wants to leave it very simple. Also, there are a few concepts (e.g. base pairing) that I think may be better off in their own articles. I am planning on turning DNA fingerprinting into its own article. Anyhow, does anybody have any comments or thoughts about how I should continue in my effort to expand this page?

Also (yeah, I'm new to this whole wiki thing so I don't know what I'm doing), could somebody tell me how to add a picture to the article? I'd really like to include a figure showing the molecular structures of each of the bases, as well as a more detailed diagram of the double helix. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words; a few of the concepts I added to this article could be explained much more succinctly with a few captioned images. --JHunter 09:54, 25 January 2012 (EST)

Actually, I just saw in the edit history that there was an attempt to de-jargonize this article. I'm afraid that I may have re-jargonized it somewhat. Please let me know specifically if / where I need to de-jargonize my previous or future edits. --JHunter 09:59, 25 January 2012 (EST)
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