EEB214H1 Lecture 4: Genetics

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Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Jennifer Carpenter

EEB214—Lecture 4 Week 2 Genetics • Humans have fewer genes o 20,000 to 25,000 genes, a drop from 30,000-40,000 in 2001 o Flies and worms have fewer genes than humans o the complexity of organism doesn’t mean you have more genes but the number of genes do vary o these are the things selection, evolution is acting o some people thinks protein is the hereditary molecule o if we have lots of different kinds of proteins the better compared to DNA, DNA is too simple to hold data • Using viruses Hersey and Chase showed that DNA was the hereditary molecule o what goes inside the bacteria makes copy of itself, and that explodes to new viruses o Was it the DNA or protein? o They made two kinds of these viruses o T2 Phage: Sulfur has no radioactive DNA o when the protein is radioactive, none of the protein is going in the cell, only DNA was o the stuff of how to make cell was DNA not protein o DNA was the thing passing on instructions of how to make organisms • The next year work by Watson, Crick and Franklin explained the structure of DNA • DNA in cells is a double stranded molecule and it’s made in 4 bases that make up DNA: GTCA • They made radioactive bacteria and when they look inside, none of the protein got inside so it wasn’t protein that was the hereditary molecule • GC, TA, CG, AT • if you unzip it, you can build the other half to make new ones • DNA is the template for making copies of itself o There are proteins that builds new strains and they always know which base it is • DNA is the hereditary molecule, but how does it store the information? Because there wasn’t enough complexity before to store life • DNA is the instruction manual for making all the proteins in an organism • DNARNAProtein • Are all DNA instructions for making protein? o in bacteria, you have a protein then protein etc. lined up o but in other organisms it’s not the case o Humans: 90% does not make protein • So in many organisms the section of DNA that makes proteins is very small. We call these parts that make proteins genes
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