February 5th, 2013
BIO- 100—The Violinist’s Thumb Assignment
The image of the atomic bomb or, “mushroom cloud,” depicts the events that transpired in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945. Nuclear bombs release radioactive gamma rays that severely disrupt DNA. The author, in this chapter, takes us through a journey via Tsutomu Yamaguchi, and presents his experiences with the nuclear bombs in Japan. He also gives the reader a breakdown of DNA from a scientific perspective. He explained the harm of radioactivity on DNA, “Fracturing DNA disrupts genes, disrupting genes halts protein production; halting protein production kills cells” (Kean, 2012). Furthermore, he describes in detail how scientists, Francis Crick and James Watson, created the term “double helix,” and how it operates. Yamaguchi and his family survived both attacks and went on to live rather lengthy lives. It remains a mystery how Yamaguchi was fortunate to live for 93 years; however, the answer lies all in his DNA.
Studying DNA can be extremely tedious and overwhelming. When Francis Crick and James Watson introduced the double helix, it was easy, for scientist, to comprehend the system, but it was rather difficult to understand how the DNA genes made proteins, which is the vital part. To fully grasp this concept scientist had to not only examine DNA, but they had to study RNA as well. The dispute, however, with DNA is that it actually is an elaborate and intricate code where these codes conceal its instructions.
In 1954, a physicist named George Gamow, organized a team together called the, RNA tie club. In this club, the members (such as Crick and Watson) tried to figure out the whole protein process in DNA. They wanted to understand why with sixty-four different triplets (3 letters of a messenger RNA string that’s involved in transporting proteins) our bodies only need 20 amino acids....