DNA tests play an crucial role in research, and also to carry out different tasks pertaining to fields such as forensic science, genealogy, agriculture, medicine, etc. The abbreviation 'DNA' stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is an important component of body cells. The DNA is in fact, referred to as the blueprint, which contains information required in the construction of cell components. It was discovered by Johann Friedrich Miescher in the year 1869. Importance of DNA should be understood from the point of research, and other perspectives too.
A simple answer to the question presented above is that basically, DNA is necessary for the inception of life. Main tasks carried out by this acid involve the transfer of hereditary information from one generation to the next, and controlling the production of proteins. DNA also plays an important part in determining the structure and functionality of cells. It is known to store information coded in the form of biological molecules. The amount of data stored in DNA is very large. A simple E. coli bacteria has a DNA with nucleotides, which are about 4 million in number. One can therefore, get an idea about how much information is present in DNAs of different organisms present in this world. Unveiling the information that lies in its sequences proves to be helpful for scientists.
Applications in Agriculture
The use of DNA is being made for genetically modifying important crop varieties. Genetic modification of crops can be carried out to make them strong enough to fight diseases, to increase crop yield, and for many such purposes. Not only plants, but animal breeds have also been improved with the help of genetic engineering techniques.
The use of DNA tests in forensic science has helped in solving many criminal cases. In this field, samples of DNA collected from crime scenes are used in verifying a person's identity. The police and judiciary system as a whole, rely on the credibility of DNA fingerprinting and other such tests, to catch the criminals.
Important to the Society
We have seen in the paragraphs above that DNA has many different applications. Let us understand more about its uses. The points enlisted below should help understand the importance of DNA to you as a human being:
- Determining the paternity a child is possible with the help of DNA paternity testing processes. It helps in identifying the parents, and thereby, solving legal cases.
- DNA tests also find their application in the field of archeology. With the help of these tests, one can record genetic codes of life forms that are hundreds of years old. The database of genetic codes and sequences can be used by researchers for future references.
- Origin of a particular species can be traced with the help of DNA testing methods. Scientists and researchers have been using such tests for studying the origins of different species.
- The use of such tests are being made in the medical field for health checks. For example, DNA tests prove to be useful for cancer patients. Detecting the presence of viruses and mutations that take place in cells is possible with these tests.
- Prenatal genetic testing is used by doctors to check if there is a chance for the baby to develop incurable or highly complicated diseases.
- Carrying out genealogy research is one of the many applications of DNA testing. These charts can be used to trace ancestors. Similarly, lost relatives can also be found with such research-based methods.
DNA is an important component of all life forms, which provides them with the necessary data that is needed for existence. This data helps in continuation of their body functions, providing information about different characteristics, and taking part in many other such applications.