DNA: What is DNA, its types, functions and paternity test

What is DNA?

DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is the building block of life. It is the genetic material of humans and almost all other living things. Almost all cells in the human body have the same deoxyribonucleic acid. Most of the it is present in the nucleus (called nuclear), but a small amount is also in the mitochondria (called mitochondrial DNA).

Types of DNA

There are three different types :

  1. A-DNA: Dehydrated deoxyribonucleic acid employs the A form, which protects it under extreme conditions such as dehydration. When the protein binds, the solvent is also removed from the it, leaving it in the A form.
  2. B-DNA: This is the most common form conformation and is a right-handed helix. The majority of deoxyribonucleic acid has a B-form conformation under normal physiological conditions.
  3. Z-DNA: Z Type is left-handed DNA, where the double helix zigzags to the left. Discovered by Andres Wang and Alexander Rich. It is believed to be involved in gene regulation because it precedes the start site of genes.

Interesting facts 

There are lots of interesting facts about deoxyribonucleic acid which carries all the information about life.

Some to the astonishing facts about  the most basic structure of our body are:

  • Our red blood cells do not have a nucleus or DNA. This is an adaptation that allows red blood cells to carry more oxygen molecules to different parts of the body.
  • If you collect and stretch the entire deoxyribonucleic acid contained in one cell, it will grow to more than 2 meters!
  • To fit in the cell, it is condensed, packaged, and folded many times, eventually fitting into a space of about 6 millionths of a meter.
  • All genes are made of DNA, but not all of it is a gene. In fact, less than 2%  is genes. Genes are scattered throughout our body mixed in deoxyribonucleic acid, with a large amount of ‘non-genetic’ material in between.
  • “DNA makes RNA and RNA makes proteins” is known as the central dogma of molecular biology, or simply the central dogma. This is because it is so fundamental to our current understanding of biology. Describe the flow of genetic information within a biological system.
  • Humans are 99.9% genetically identical, despite all the genetic differences between people that account for differences in our appearance, behavior, or susceptibility to disease.
  •  DNA can make about 600 round trips from Earth to the Sun.
  • Humans share 60% of their genes with Drosophila, and 2/3 of these genes are known to be involved in cancer.
  • It also shares 85% of its DNA with mice, 40% with fruit flies, and 41% with bananas.
  • Although rare, it is possible for an individual to have two completely different profiles.

What is a paternity test?

paternity test

Paternity testing of deoxyribonucleic acid is nearly 100% accurate in determining if a man is the biological father of another person. A Paternity test can use a cheek swab or a blood test. If the results are required for legal reasons, the test should be carried out in a medical institution. Prenatal paternity testing can determine paternity during pregnancy.

Common FAQs

Q1.What is a strand of DNA?

Each strand of it serves as a pattern for duplicating the bases.

Q2.Who discovered the structure of DNA?

The discovery of structure double-helix is credited to the researchers James Watson and Francis Crick.

Q3.What exactly does DNA look like?

Deoxyribonucleic Acid is made of two linked strands that wind around each other to resemble a twisted ladder — a shape known as a double helix


DNA is the most basic building block of a person’s body. It is not present in red blood cells. There is more of it in the human body than you can ever think of. A child gets deoxyribonucleic acid from both his parents. While looking under a microscope DNA looks like a spiral staircase.


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