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Genetic Inheritance And The Function Of DNA

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In 1940, biologist had a hard time accepting DNA as genetic information due to its chemistry (The Structure and Function of DNA, n.d.). DNA is a nucleic acid and is where genetic information is stored in a molecule to build and maintain an organism (DNA structure and function, 2014). DNA is known as the molecule of heredity (Gaughan, 2019). The four main purpose and roles of DNA are replication, encoding, cellular management and the ability to mutate (Gaughan, 2019). The first purpose of DNA which is replication process which is where DNA copies itself causing the transfer of inherited traits (Gaughan, 2019). However, there are times when replication happens it does not create an identical copy, which is considered DNA mutation (Gaughan, 2019). There are many reasons they do not create an identical copy and when mutations happen in humans, they are unaware when they pass down certain genetic disorders or conditions to their children (Gaughan, 2019). Mutation is important to evolution and organisms adapting to their environment (Gaughan, 2019). The other function of DNA is encoding which is where it builds the correct amount of proteins in each cell (Gaughan, 2019). The third function of DNA is cellular management is where a single fertilized cell is split and it duplicates itself to create a living being (Gaughan, 2019). This process produces different cells to make every function and work properly, as an example it is like a boss who is starting a new company and would hire multiple people with talents to run the organization. Without those different departments and talents, the company would not be able to run efficient and effectively, the same with cellular management needing cells to become the liver, skin, stomach and other cells to produce what is needed. Lastly, the ability to mutate which means organisms evolve and adapt over time as Charles Darwin studied (Gaughan, 2019). This means there can be changes in hair color and skin, this is where cellular management shows DNA cells can split but some do not replicate identically (Gaughan, 2019).

Protein synthesis is where protein molecules are created by individual cells (Protein Synthesis, n.d.). The purpose of protein synthesis is to provide a variety of functions, structural and regulate proteins, which gives appropriate function and development of protein molecules (Protein Synthesis, n.d.). The proteins that are regulated and provided appropriate functions through protein synthesis are;

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  • Enzyme proteins
  • Hormone proteins
  • Contractile proteins
  • Structural proteins
  • Transport proteins
  • Antibodies proteins

Protein synthesis helps regulate all of these because they are in control of digestion, metabolism of glucose, muscle movement, protection of the immune system and protective coverings of hair and nails (Protein Synthesis, n.d.). DNA provides instructions through RNA which causes the process of protein synthesis (Eric J. Simon, 2016). Protein synthesis there are two main phases which are called transcription and translation (Eric J. Simon, 2016). Transcription and translation are where genetic information is transferred from DNA tot RNA (Eric J. Simon, 2016). The DNA strand goes through transcription to RNA, then to translation to polypeptide (Eric J. Simon, 2016). Protein synthesis takes place in the prokaryotes; however, protein synthesis does not take place within the nucleus or the nucleolus (Protein Synthesis, n.d.).

When it comes to DNA mutations some have silent effects and there are some that effects the proteins (Brennan, 2018). Mutation is considered a change in DNA that is either a mistake through a chemical damage to the DNA (Brennan, 2018). There are four different types of mutations which are missense mutation, nonsense mutation, silent mutation and frameshift mutation (Types of mutations and their impact on protein function, n.d.). Missense mutation is where amino acid is changed to either conservative or nonconservative, it may or may not affect protein functions (Types of mutations and their impact on protein function, n.d.). Nonsense mutation is where the changes stop codon which causes early termination of translation (Types of mutations and their impact on protein function, n.d.). Silent mutation doesn’t always affect but could have effects to phenotypic which can result in splicing (Types of mutations and their impact on protein function, n.d.). Frameshift mutation usually introduces early termination of codons with multiple changes to amino acid (Types of mutations and their impact on protein function, n.d.).

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Genetic Inheritance And The Function Of DNA. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
“Genetic Inheritance And The Function Of DNA.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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