DNA Facts That Will Help Us Understand The World Around Us
German police once took DNA samples in a jewel heist. The samples led to two twins, Hassan and Abbas O. (German law prohibits naming them in full). Â Both of them denied committing the crime in spite of the fact that the German police knew one of them had done it (because of the DNA evidence). Unfortunately, they could not determine which one (because their DNA is basically the same since they are twins), and German law doesn’t allow suspects to be held indefinitely. For this reason the police had no choice but to let them go.
1.Because of DNA degradation it is highly unlikely that dinosaurs or prehistoric creatures could ever be cloned.
2.Scientists have determined that DNA has a half-life of 521 years and after 1.5 million years even the best preserved DNA samples would no longer be readable.
3.50% of your DNA is identical to that of a banana’s
4.The DNA in all of your cells would stretch 10 billion miles if you uncoiled it. That is roughly the distance from Earth to Pluto and back
5.An egg’s genetic contents could be replaced with a man’s DNA and then fertilized with a sperm. This would make two men the parents of a child.
6.The DNA in humans is 99.9% similar. The last .01% is where the differences lie.
7.The Hornsleth Deep Storage Project dropped a time capsule in the deepest part of the ocean in 2013. It contained human blood, hair samples, and animal DNA. This could all be used to bring endangered species back to life in the future.
8.John Schneeberger, a Zambian doctor living in Canada was charged with sexual assault. He implanted a tube of someone else’s blood in his arm so that when it was drawn for DNA evidence he passed the test. He was eventually found out and deported.
9.Scientists encoded the song It’s A Small World After All into the DNA of a bacteria that is resistant to radioactivity so that in the case of a nuclear holocaust, future humans or other life forms would find it.
10.About two grams worth of DNA could hold every bit of digitally stored information in the world.
11.According to DNA research, Polynesians may have visited Chile in the 1300s and beat Columbus to the Americas by nearly 200 years.
12.Similar to the wasp you just read about, roughly 8% of your DNA is made up of ancient viruses that used to infect humans
13.Brooke Greenberg of Maryland was the size of an infant with the mental capacity of a toddler. She died recently at the age of 20. Scientists think her DNA may hold the key to “biological immortality”
14.People of non-African descent all have traces of neanderthal DNA.
15.There is a hard drive on the International Space Station called the “immortality drive”. It contains the DNA of people like Lance Armstrong and Stephan Hawking in case of a world wide catastrophe.
16.According to scientists, four families in Iceland have DNA only found in Native Americans. The evidence suggests that the Vikings brought a Native American woman back to Europe nearly 1,000 years ago.
17.DNA is damaged nearly 1 million times per dayâ€¦in every single cell of your body. Fortunately, your body has an elaborate system of repairing it. If it didn’t, this would lead to cancer or cell death.
18.If you ever have a bone marrow transplant, the DNA in your blood can include that of your donor (which has led to false arrests in the past)
19.Instead of venom, Braconid wasps inject their victims with a virus that suppresses the victim’s immune system and allows the wasp’s parasitic larvae to grow within the victim. Scientists found that this virus is unlike any other virus on Earth. It is over 100 million years old and apparently assimilated itself into the very DNA of the wasp.
20.Bdelloid rotifers are microscopic creatures that have been exclusively female for over 80 million years. They reproduce by stealing the DNA of other animals.
21.Although there are numerous websites and services offering to do genetic tests on your saliva that will prove your ancestry, scientists have warned that this is little more than genetic astrology and should not be taken seriously.
22.Siblings share 50% of their genes, as do parents and children
23.If you were to type 1 word per second every day for 8 hours, it would take you 50 years to type out the human genome.
24.When it comes to invertebrates, mudworms are our closest relatives (we have more DNA in common with them than we do with cockroaches or even an octopus)