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Genes and Environment - Research Paper Example

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The focus of this paper is on genes as the basic unit or molecular structure of heredity that is present in all living organisms irrespective of their size, shape, and habitat. The ability of living organisms to grow, reproduce and proliferate depends on a vast number of chemical reactions…
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Download file to see previous pages DNA is present on the chromosomes in a coiled helical manner and controls the cellular metabolism as it has nitrogen base that contains four different nitrogen bases- Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C), Thymine (T). A pairs with T with a double Hydrogen bond while G pairs with C with a triple nitrogen bond. On the other hand, RNA also contains A, G, and C but instead of T, it has U, the Uracil. The exact sequence of the base pair is required for the formation of a particular protein any change in the sequence of the base pairs changes the structure and function of the protein molecule and hence the cellular metabolism is affected (Alberts, 2002; Snustad, 2002). DNA controls the cellular environment as well as the metabolic processes, synthesizes mRNA molecule by the process of transcription, RNA, in turn, synthesize polypeptide chain by the process of translation. Polypeptides are the basic structure of the protein molecules. These proteins are responsible for the formation of enzymes which control the cellular mechanism and hence influence the survival of the organism (Alberts, 2002; Snustad, 2002). Genes possess information to maintain the cellular environment and trigger the formation or stoppage of the formation of the polypeptide. Depending on the cellular requirement the genes are switched on and off. Genes are the heritable units i.e. they pass the genetic traits to the offspring. The genetic makeup of the organism is called the genotype while genes also govern the external appearance of the organism, the phenotype. It is because of genes an offspring resemble parents in appearance and behavior to a certain extent. Thus, genes are the most vital components of life and carry out all the biological processes (Alberts, 2002; Snustad, 2002). The number of genes varies from organisms to organisms. For instance, micro-organisms possess single chromosomes and therefore they have limited genes. Viruses, which are considered to be the connecting link between the living and non-living entities carry either DNA or RNA. For their replication and multiplication, they pass only the genetic material to the host cell and this genetic material takes control over the host cell machinery to make multiple copies of the viral particles. Thereby highlighting the fact that genes retain all the information required for the formation of the complete organism, from the single cell to multicellular organisms (Alberts, 2002; Snustad, 2002). Multicellular organisms possess a greater number of chromosomes, for instance, human beings have 23 pairs of chromosomes carrying different genes located on different chromosomes to carry out different physiological and biological processes (Alberts, 2002; Snustad, 2002). Interaction of genes As genes are chemical entities, they are liable to interact with various physical and chemical molecules. These chemicals interact with the genetic molecules and potentially alters their characteristics. Alteration of genes is called mutation (Alberts, 2002; Snustad, 2002). Alteration of genes occurs in many ways either in terms of addition, deletion, duplication of base pairs. These alterations are responsible for various genetic anomalies. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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