‘Blue Print of Life: A novel addition to AnSI museum’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 May 2018 12:02:33



By Rajendra Diwe,

A special section on DNA in AnSI museum makes one to reveal, “The destiny of each man is not written by the Gods on his forehead, but written up chemically in the genes of his body in a string of three letter words using sequence of bases in the DNA molecule.”

The section tells a story of genetic ‘Adam and Eve.’ It also makes us to think all humans are descendants of one man and woman who lived over 100,000 years ago. Understanding genome also helps us to understand human evolution and common biology we share with all life.
Who we areThe section highlights the studies of mitochondrial DNA which tracks maternal ancestry. We all human beings are descendants of one woman who may have lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago. The research on Y chromosome of men which tracks paternal ancestry, from various places, revealed that we all human beings are migrated about 60,000 years to 580,000 years ago from Africa. Almost every man alive today can trace his origins to one man who lived approximately 135,000 years ago, and that this ancient man was alive at the same time as the woman who his known as the ‘mother of all women’, providing evidence for an ancient ‘Adam and Eve’, popularly known as Y-chromosomal Adam and mitochondrial Eve.

What is Genome
The genome is the entire set of hereditary instruction for building, running and maintaining an organism, and passing life on to the next generation. It is often called the blueprint of life. Genomes are found in cells, the microscopic structures that make up all living things. Two types of Genomes are nuclear genome (found in chromosomes) and mitochondrial genome (found in mitochondria). The nucleus of most human cells contain 23 pairs (46) of chromosomes. Half of the chromosomes in any human being borrowed from the mother (23) and half from the father (23) in humans, a female has two identical sex chromosomes XX while a male has one X and one Y chromosome, referred as XY.

Chromosomes carry thousands of genes, the specific portion of DNA that contains hereditary instructions. The number of genes in the Genomes varies from species to species. Estimated number of human genes ranges from 25,000 to 30,000. Genes influence not only the way we look but what disease we may eventually get due to some faulty genes. A hereditary instruction of genes is written in a four letter code. Each letter corresponds to one of the chemical compounds o DNA: Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G) and Thymine (T). The actual letters of genetic alphabet.

The human genome contains 3164.7 million of 3.2 billion biological letters i.e. chemical nucleotide bases (ACTG) and is composed in 24 volumes which labeled chromosome 1,2,3,…X and Chromosome Y.

The DNA section of AnSI museum helps a person to imagine the chromosomes in our body to be a cassette tape like ones we use in recording music. The DNA molecule comprising the chromosome has information that instructs the organism what to do. Genetic information is written up in the special alphabet of the DNA just as music is written up in sequence of swaras or notes.