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This unit specifically studies the molecule known as DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is the genetic material of all living organisms. DNA is a nucleic acid. Nucleic acids are a type of organic molecules that contain genetic material. DNA is found in the nucleus of every cell in the human body. Cells of living things are made of prokaryotic cells or eukaryotic cells. In prokaryotic cells, DNA is circular, and in eukaryotic cells, DNA is linear. The human body is made of eukaryotic cells, which is why your chromosomes are linear. The majority of the work involved in forensics is based on DNA. History discusses many people as having input into the discovery of DNA, but the most familiar names are James Watson and Francis Crick.

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  • In 4–6 paragraphs, address the following:
    • What is the history of DNA?
      • Out of all of the contributors to the field, who do you think has made the greatest contribution to the discovery of DNA? Why?
    • In your own words, describe and explain the components and arrangement of DNA.
    • In your own words, what is the process by which DNA replicates?
    • In your own words, what is the relationship between DNA, genes, and chromosomes? Explain.
    • What do you think is the most important use of DNA testing and analysis? Explain in detail.
  • Post a new topic to the Discussion Board that contains your responses to the above questions.
  • Comment on at least 2 other students’ posts.

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