How does the DNA code mutate?
Every time one of your cells divides into two, it must copy the DNA code in its nucleus, one copy for each of the new cells. You have around 6000 million chemical 'letters' – base pairs – of DNA code in nearly every cell. Although they are not always copied perfectly, your cells correct almost all mistakes immediately. A few go undetected, but most of these changes, known as mutations, have no effect because they occur in the DNA that is not in a gene – non-coding DNA.
How does DNA repair itself?
How do mutations affect proteins?
How can DNA bases change?
How is DNA like a sentence?
You have 6000 million base pairs of DNA in almost every one of your cells, but only about 3% of it makes up genes. Of the remaining 97% some helps keep the DNA bound together. Scientists used to call this ‘junk DNA’. Now they have found that much non-coding DNA has essential roles such as controlling the activity of genes. There is much yet to discover about the role of non-coding DNA.