How Does DNA Work
How Does DNA Work?
How does DNA work? Proteins are the building blocks of life, essential for growth and repair. Proteins consist of amino acid molecules comparable to the letters of the alphabet. For example, if letters are arranged correctly, they form meaningful text ("water is wet"). If the letters are not arranged correctly, the result is nonsense ("iewta wt rse").
A written word consists of letters arranged in a precise order. Similarly, amino acids must be arranged in a very precise order to form a protein. Proteins are formed by amino acid chains coalesced into an architecture preprogrammed by the specific sequence of amino acids.
There are at least 30,000 distinct proteins in the human body, each one a different combination of the same 20 amino acid "letters" (similar to the 26 letters of the English alphabet). The function of each protein is determined by the three-dimensional shape of the protein, which, in turn, is determined by the sequence of amino acids.
How Does DNA Work? The Genetic Code
The instructions for sequencing the amino acids are contained within the DNA double helix (the genetic code). Thus, the DNA molecule determines the structure and function of all proteins, which, in turn, determines the structure and function of each and every cell. The genetic code carried by the DNA double helix molecule is an absolutely incredible digital information storage and retrieval system with its own inherent language convention.
The assembly instructions inherent to the DNA molecule are essential. Amino acids cannot self-assemble. This poses a "chicken and the egg" riddle: which came first, DNA or proteins? Proteins cannot form without DNA, yet DNA is made of proteins!