Most people have either heard, or used the abbreviation DNA — What is it?
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a microscopic chemical string that is like the hard drive of living organisms — like you. You’re probably familiar with a computer hard disk, right?
A very sharp needle reads the surface of the disk as it spins really fast — just like an old record player. In biology, the “hard drive” of living things isn’t a microscopic disk, but rather is like a very long microscopic rollercoaster!
In this “microscopic rollercoaster” there are tiny cellular machines (roller coaster cars) that glide upon the DNA (roller coaster tracks). While the cars ride the DNA tracks, they are reading “instructions” that are embedded within the DNA.
You’re not alone in wondering what DNA is!
“DNA” is searched for on Google a lot. When you look at this chart, you’ll see a fun pattern. A “two-lump” pattern repeats every year. What is this from? When you look closely, you’ll see the peak searches happen in February and November, with a small trough in Dec/Jan and a large trough over the summer months. This must be a lot of students searching the web for resources about DNA! (Following charts are from Google Trends*)
Which country seems to be most interested in DNA? According to Google Trends, Finland! Out of the total number of Google searches of each country, Finland searches for DNA more frequently than others.
Learn “What is DNA?”!
If you’re looking for a simple and free tool to learn about DNA, check out “What is DNA?” — a free virtual simulator. In 15 minutes, you’ll have a good understanding of DNA, what its made of, and how it relates to genomes and chromosomes. You’ll even get to try building some DNA!