Miraculous Wonders of DNA

“Fun Facts Saturday”

DNA is amazing!  It is found in all living things. It is one of the incredible wonders of the universe. The miracles of DNA and the human genome have converted many agnostic scientists into believers.

DNA Photo
  • A DNA strand in each microscopic cell is 6 feet long, but only 50 trillionths of an inch wide.
  • Molecular “machines” coil DNA strands within the cell at the speed of a jet engine.
  • The human genome contains 3 billion DNA base pairs, and each DNA strand contains 3 billion letters.
  • If unwound and linked together, the DNA strands in your body could stretch over 110 billion miles. (6 feet long X 100 trillion cells). Approximately 600 trips to the sun and back.
  • Molecules traveling one direction on the DNA strand have tall “legs” so that the “short-legged” molecules traveling in the opposite direction can “walk” under them without slowing down.
  • Every human shares 99.9% of their DNA with every other human.
  • You share 98.7% of your DNA with chimpanzees, 85% with mice, and 41% with bananas.
DNA Photo

Orange County District Attorney and DNA

P.S. The OC District Attorney’s Office has been compiling a DNA database with their “spit and acquit” program. Minor crimes are dismissed if the defendant volunteers to give a DNA sample. Several high-profile murder cases have been solved because relatives gave DNA samples on minor misdemeanors in my court.

P.P.S. Interestingly, if DNA from a crime scene can’t be matched to a person, the D.A. will file the case under the DNA sample profile sequence instead of the name of a person, until a suspect is identified. This satisfies the statute of limitations. (For example, instead of: “People vs. John Doe,” the complaint will read: “People vs. abcdcdaabdabcddabccabdacdb.”)

(See: “Your Amazing Molecular Machines,” Veritasium Channel, YouTube, 6:21 min; “6 Weird But True Facts About DNA, “ ancestry.com; “10 Fascinating Facts About DNA,” Endeavor DNA Laboratories.)


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