What is DNA?

DNA, also known as DeoxyriboNucleic Acid, is contained within each of trillions cells in your body. It serves as a blueprint that determines the physical features of all living things, including you! It looks like a twisted ladder or, as scientists call it, a ‘double helix’. This genetic information was passed on from your parents, which is why it is ‘hereditary’, making you completely unique.

DNA contains information on the structure of various types of RNA and proteins. It is made up of four nucleotides, known as adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine or A, G, T, C for short. They are connected together in a specific pattern: adenine binds only to thymine and guanine only to cytosine. These nucleotides encode information about every protein in the body, thus determining the phenotype of a person (i.e., the set of observable characteristics).