genetic diversity

Topics: DNA, Gene, Genetics Pages: 5 (1839 words) Published: September 30, 2013

Before discussing the topic of genetic diversity, it is imperative that you, the reader, can get an understanding of what all topics and points of focus that is taken into consideration when discussing genetic diversity. This includes a brief history as to how this came about, and what components allow this process to occur. Genetic diversity can be a complicated, yet interesting topic to cover. From the name of the process of genetic diversity, it can be inferred that this deals with genes and genetics. The first thing to address would be the field of study that this involves. This would be the field of genetics. Genetics is the study of biologically inherited traits called genes, including traits that are partially influenced by the environment. The existence of genes first became a hypothetical theory in 1866. It was introduced by Gregor Mendel. His studies was not taken serious until 1902 when researchers found some of Mendel’s old work. Within the next twenty years, many methods for gene mapping and for experimentally induced mutations were developed. Starting in 1940, researchers in this field started using microbes in their experiments. This microbes includes fungi, bacteria, and bacterial viruses. In the next few years, a merging of the study of genetics and biochemistry led to a division of genetics called molecular genetics. In 1953, experimentation of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, led to advancement in molecular studies. During the 1970s, gene cloning and DNA sequencing methods were developed. The next big step in science happened in the 1980s when methods for DNA marker analysis, DNA fingerprinting and polymerase chain reaction, PCR, were all developed. During the 1990s, whole genome sequencing methods were developed. This new method led to the make of the study of all the genes in a genome. This field of study is called genomics. The accessibility of whole genome sequences also led to the make of the study of all proteins coded by a single genome. This field of study is called proteomics. Later, the field of genetics fused with the field of computer science, and opened up and created the field of bioinformatics. As stated, genetics is the study of genes. Genes are the elements of heredity that are transmitted from the parents to offspring during reproduction. Each organism has its own “genetic map” that makes it different from others. This genetic information is stored in the chromosomes in the nucleus of the cell. All living cells are composed of small organic molecules that are linked together by chemical bonds to form larger molecules. These are called macromolecules. Macromolecules include nucleic acids, proteins, and carbohydrates. These smaller molecules are called monomers.

Each cell contains many different proteins that determine the cells structure and its functions. Proteins are considered the “workers” of the cell. There are three main types of proteins. The three main proteins are the structural proteins, which is responsible for the cell’s shape and movement, the contractile proteins, which is responsible for the cell’s muscle contraction, and the hormonal proteins, which is responsible for regulating the level of glucose in the blood. Another, different, types of protein are the enzymes. Enzymes are the catalystic proteins that are responsible for the breakdown of the macromolecules. The enzymes break these macromolecules into deoxyribonucleic acids or DNA.

DNA is the genetic material in the living organism. It encodes the information that makes all the cellular proteins. It can do this because of its molecular structure. DNA is a polymer of nucleotides. Each nucleotide is connected to one nitrogenous base (adenine [A], thymine [T], cytosine [C], or guanine [G]). DNA is also responsible for the make of genes and is located in the chromosomes of the cell. DNA is accessed during the process of gene expression which occurs in two steps. The two steps in gene expression are...
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