Deoxyribonucleic acid, popularly referred as DNA, is the essential biological blueprint of every organism. DNA’s discovery was a pathbreaking achievement in the history of biology and mankind. This omnipresent, complex molecule determines the mechanism of every biotic aspect of life. Its unearthing has led to the demystification of numerous riddles.
Although James Watson, Maurice Wilkins and Francis Crick are credited with the pathbreaking findings of the DNA, it wouldn’t have been possible without the collaborative work of Rosalind Franklin and Raymond Gosling. The prior study of the nucleic acids by Swiss biologist Johannes Friedrich Miescher in the 19th century also proved to pave a way for the subsequent researches on DNA. This curled helix encompasses chromosomes, that contains the defining genetic information of an organism. This enormously dictates how plants, animals and humans are distinctly crafted. And this definitive characteristic has helped biologists in various scientific projects.
Here are the four most important areas where DNA has significantly made its mark.
Due to the study of DNA we have been able to conduct early and resolute diagnosis for diseases, which initially had no certain explanation. Its detection has led us to assess how vulnerable an individual is to diseases with the help of medical history in families. DNA has also contributed vastly to the development of drugs for terminal illnesses and conditions.
Besides from ensuring a prolonged and a healthy life for sick individuals, it has impacted the social strata of our society with the help of DNA profiling. This genetic fingerprint technique can help determine if a person is biologically related to another person. As a piece of evidence, DNA testing is crucial in societal disputes like inheritance, child custody and support.
In criminal cases, DNA has been an indispensable buddy for forensic science. There have been plenty of cases where there was absolutely no substantial evidence. With the assistance of DNA profiling, the justice forces have been able to determine useful breakthroughs.
Genetic engineering in agriculture and cattle breeding has completely revolutionized the way we produce and consume our food. Today scientists can create variants of crops and animal breeds that are superior in quality. For instance, currently there are plants that are resistant against insects and chemical compounds. They are developed to be biologically rich, to yield a profitable production. DNA in the past years is also been chiefly used to advance mass manufacturing of animal products like meat and milk.