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DNA Sequencing

DNA Sequencing

Description:

This lesson will introduce the concept of DNA sequencing as well as discuss the Human Genome Project.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson is going to cover DNA sequencing by looking at :

  1. DNA Sequencing
  2. The Human Genome Project

1. DNA Sequencing

DNA sequencing provides a lot of information about genes like where a gene is location on a chromosome.  It can tell us about the order of nucleotides involved in a gene, how a gene functions, about mutations of a gene, and how genes interact with other genes. This can be really beneficial in the medical world because,  if the way genes work is understood, information about certain types of genetic disorders can be gained.

Term to Know

  • DNA Sequencing
  • A genetic technology that allows us to track the location of genes on chromosomes.

It's also useful in, or the study of genomics. A genome is all of the DNA in a species' entire set of chromosomes. A variable number tandem repeat is a region of DNA that varies from person to person.

ExampleWithin a species a certain percentage of their DNA will be the same. More than 99% of all human DNA is the same. It is the less than 1% that is the variable number tandem repeat.

Term to Know

  • Genome
  • All of the DNA in an individual's complete set of chromosomes.
  • Genomics
  • The study of genomes.

Of all the variable number tandem repeats, you have a unique combo of repeats. This unique combination of repeats of nucleotides is like your genetic fingerprint. This is what is used in forensics if people are doing blood tests or DNA tests.

Term to Know

  • Variable Number Tandem Repeats
  • The portion of DNA (about 1%) that is unique to each individual.


2. The Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project was a project that mapped the complete human genome using DNA sequencing. This was a huge project because there are over 3 billion nucleotide bases in a total of about 21,500 genes. The knowledge of this information is very helpful in the research of genetic disorders and medicine.

Term to Know

  • Human Genome Project
  • A complete map of the entire human genome completed with DNA sequencing.

This project also mapped around 20,000 protein-coding genes. Less than 2% of DNA is coding for protein, and the rest of DNA is noncoding DNA. It's referred to as junk DNA because it doesn't code for proteins. However, it can't be assumed that, because it doesn't code for proteins, it has no purpose whatsoever. Biologists are working on trying to figure out what the purpose of this junk DNA is.

Summary

DNA sequencing has been very useful in the medical field and it has provided us with a lot of information about how genes function, where they're located, and how they interact with other genes. The Human Genome Project mapped the complete human genome using DNA sequencing. 

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Amanda Soderlind

TERMS TO KNOW
  • DNA Sequencing

    A genetic technology that allows us to track the location of genes on chromosomes.

  • Genomics

    The study of genomes.

  • Genome

    All of the DNA in an individual's complete set of chromosomes.

  • Variable Number Tandem Repeats

    The portion of DNA (about 1%) that is unique to each individual.

  • Human Genome Project

    A complete map of the entire human genome completed with DNA sequencing.