Here are some fun facts about DNA, taken from the DOE website:
The human genome contains 3164.7 million chemical nucleotide bases(ATCG).
The average gene consists of 3000 bases, but sizes vary greatly, with the largest known human gene being dystrophin at 2.4 million bases.
The total number of genes is estimated at 30,000 to 35,000.
Almost all (99.9%) nucleotide bases are exactly the same in all people.
Less than 2% of the genome codes for proteins.
We eat about 93,000 miles of DNA in an average meal.
DNA news for this year:
One of the biggest bits of news is getting rid of the patent system on genes! Companies can now no longer own parts of the genome, it's free for anyone to experiment with, research, and develop things for.
As for this years advances in DNA, I found some amazing articles to share. Feel free to read further on anything that piques your interest by following the links:
Gene Therapy Re-programming genetics has, is, and will lead to recoveries from various conditions. Even helping animals see color! This article takes an unbiased stance, sharing the good and bad sides of gene therapy.
King Tut's DNA DNA was extracted from Egyptian royal mummies and analyzed. Here are some of the results!
Our DNA is part virus This article explains how many genomes are permeated with the DNA of viruses.
And finally: Genographic The awesome project that is recreating ancient history by taking DNA samples from volunteers. My late grandfather donated his DNA to this project. This is an amazing project and I encourage anyone interested in history, anthropology, or DNA to take a look at some of the videos presented on this website.
The shape of the double helix is incredible enough that it has become a theme in various forms of art and architecture:
(Stairs in France, A window at CSU, A necklace made by Quill, Statue at CSU, fountain photos taken by Kaj, Sculpture from a museum in Finland)
DNA is also the theme of the song "That Spells DNA" by Johnathan Coulton.