Research Paper: "The Question of DNA" - Sample Essay for Better Understanding

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Deoxyribonucleic acid is present in all organisms. Whether it is mammal, bird or bacteria DNA is responsible for a functioning organism. Looking at the two tables provided, there are some noticeable trends that could be identified, as well as conclusions that can be derived. The idea that more complex organism have more DNA mass per cell, that the mass of DNA in somatic cells is constant (there is a range but it is very slight) for any particular organism, that sperm cells are haploid cells and that all organisms have DNA present in their cells are ideas present from the tables provided.

The fact that all of the organisms, whether it is mammal, bird or fungi have a mass of DNA present in their cells shows that DNA is present for a reason. If a mammal has an approximate DNA mass in each cell of 6pg and birds have an average DNA mass of 2pg per cell then this DNA has to have a specific function in the body, which explains its initial appearance in each cell. Also, because the organism has a DNA mass in each cell then DNA would have to be passed from the parents onto their offspring.

The masses of DNA in the somatic cells of the chicken are all approximately the same. The DNA mass found in a heart cell of the chicken measured at 2.45 pg while the mass of the DNA in each kidney cell weighed at 2.50pg. This can be explained by the fact that when an egg is fertilized by a sperm cell, the fertilized egg eventually becomes the starting point for all the different cells. During the process of mitosis, the fertilized egg is duplicating to form a cluster of cells, while doing so the DNA is also being duplicated and eventually these cluster of cells will become specialized for different functions in different areas of the body. The small but notable variance in the value of masses of the somatic cells can be attributed to experimental error.

More complex organisms have a higher DNA mass content per cell. Per cell a mammal has a DNA mass content per cell of 6 pg while a bird has an average DNA mass content of 2pg. The mass of DNA present in each of the cells is dependant on how complex the organism is, the higher the complexity the more DNA that is needed for the organism to function with its internal functions. Since there is more information for the organism itself, then the DNA mass will increase.

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From the tables provided the mass of the DNA found in sperm cells can be noted. While the mass of DNA seems to fall in the same range for all the different cells in the chicken’s body, the sperm cell is an odd case. With a mass of DNA of 1.26 pg the sperm cell holds the smallest number, as well as the number that does not fit in with the rest of the other values assigned as values for DNA in the different parts of the cells in the chicken’s body. This can be explained by the fact that the sperm cell is a haploid cell, and that it carries half the DNA that an organism will eventually obtain, the other half coming from the egg. If the sperm cell, with a DNA mass of 1.26 pg were to fertilize the egg (which has a DNA mass of 1.26 pg), the resulting organism will have a DNA mass of 2.52 pg. This value fits in with the rest of the values observed in the second chart. It can be noted that DNA is passed on from both the sperm and egg cell.

The initial presence of the DNA in each of the organism’s cells, the fact that the mass of DNA in each of the somatic cells of the chicken is approximately the same, that sperm cells carry half of the mass of DNA of an ordinary somatic cell, and that more complex organisms have a higher DNA mass content per cell than lower organism are ideas present in the tables. From these four points extracted from the tables DNA seems to be an important component for each organism responsible for carrying information.

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