How Long Would DNA Be If Stretched Out (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10 Billion Miles

DNA is otherwise known as deoxyribonucleic acid. There are three major forms of DNA and they are A-form, B-form and, Z-form DNA. They interact with complementary base pairs. 

An important property of DNA states that it can replicate or make copies of itself. The base pair is the result of the formation of A with T and C with G. Double helix is the result of nucleotides arranged in two long strands that form a strand.

It is the hereditary material in humans. It is made up of Adenine(A), Cytosine(C), Guanine(G), and Thymine(T). Each molecule is attached to a phosphate molecule and sugar molecule. 

How Long Would DNA Be If Stretched Out? 

ObjectLength
Length of DNA if stretched out10 billion miles
DNA molecules 10 centimeter

If DNA is stretched out, it would form a very thin thread about 2 meters or 6 feet long, it is mentioned according to McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of science and technology, New York. Each human cell has DNA 2 meters or 6 feet long.

Taken for assumption, if the human body has 10 trillion cells, which is generally very small in number, each person would have 60 trillion feet of DNA which are around 10 billion miles of DNA. The Sun is  93 million miles away from earth. 

If each human has 10 billion miles of DNA inside them and if it is stretched out, DNA would reach the sun and back 61 times. A.L. Leininger principles of biochemistry, New York states that chromosome 13 contains DNA molecules about 3.2 cm long. 

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A single human chromosome contains a DNA molecule that is about 2 inches long. It is recorded according to The World Book Encyclopedia, Chicago. 

As mentioned in A.L. Campbell, Biology: concepts and connections, California, the actual size of human cell DNA are 03 meters in length. 

The DNA molecule is threaded so finely that it can be observed only if placed under a high-power electron microscope. DNA shows a simple conceptual understanding of genetic processes.

DNA occurs as spirally coiled, fine threads that in turn coil around another in the chromosomes of a cell. It looks just like a twisted ladder.

Why Would DNA Be So Long If Stretched Out? 

DNA is a naturally helical, supercoiled molecule that takes very little space. It can extend so long because DNA is arranged as coils of coils. It adjusts many billions of base pairs in each cell. 

The standard amount of genetic contrast between any two humans is one in 500 bases or 0.2 percent. Chimpanzees differ by 0.8 percent. 99.9 percent of DNA is identical in its genetic makeup. 

The other remaining 0.1 percent holds important clues about the cause of diseases. A genetic condition that is familiar with ethnic groups is sickle cell disorder which is generally seen in Africans and Americans.

The immune system of humans and chimpanzees are very same. Diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS can transmit in chimps too. They don’t get infected by malaria parasites.

DNA works differently and they also can be turned on. X chromosome of both humans and chimpanzees contains around 1100 different genes. Each gene affects a particular trait.

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Mature hair, nails don’t have DNA, and neither it floats in cells. It is stored inside a small compartment in a cell termes the nucleus. Some amount of DNA can also be spotted in a certain compartment called mitochondria. 

Each human cell has 6 picograms(pg) of DNA. It is a very tiny amount and even smaller than a grain of rice. The DNA of prokaryotes such as bacteria is stored in the cytoplasm of the cell. The nucleus holds the DNA tightly in eukaryotic organisms. DNA stores the hereditary information within the organisms which are living.

Conclusion

DNA is the short form of deoxyribonucleic acid. It holds hereditary information.  99.9 percent is identical and the remaining 0.1 percent holds important clues about the cause of diseases. 

The place of DNA varies between eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. 6 picograms of DNA are present in each human cell. DNA is stored in the nucleus, mitochondria, and cytoplasm. 

Chimpanzees are close relatives of humans by DNA. If DNA is stretched out it will cover the distance from the earth to the sun and 61 times back. DNA occurs as fine and spirally coiled.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26834/
  2. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2017/lc/c6lc01439a
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