Thread: Science Science is Cool....
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:01 PM   #890
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So let's all go bananas....



What do you have in common with a banana? Even though we might not look alike, all living things—bananas and people included—are made up of the same basic material.

Just like houses are made up of smaller units such as bricks, all living things are made up trillions of microscopic building blocks called cells. Within an organism, each cell contains a complete set of "blueprints". These directions determine the organism's characteristics.

Background

If we could zoom in on a single, tiny cell, we could see an even teenier "container" inside called a nucleus. It holds a stringy substance called DNA, which is like a set of blueprints, or instructions. DNA contains a code for how to build a life-form and put together the features that make that organism unique. Segments, or pieces, of DNA are called "genes". In living things, such as us, each gene determines something about our bodies—a trait. In our DNA there are genes that are responsible for hair color, eye color, earlobe shape and so on. We get our DNA from our parents. Some characteristics, like eye color, are pretty much entirely determined by DNA. Some are determined both by DNA and by your environment as you grow up, like how tall you will be as an adult. And some traits are not very directly tied to DNA at all, like the kind of books you like to read.

Just like us, banana plants have genes and DNA in their cells, and just like us, their DNA determines their traits. Using only our eyes, we couldn't see a single cell or the DNA inside of it. If we remove DNA from millions of cells, however, we will be able to view it without a microscope. That is what we will do today!

How to extract DNA from a banana: http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...g-science-home
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