killian-1_Intro-532843111 - 4/2/11 BI O231 Genetics Lectur...

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Unformatted text preview: 4/2/11 BI O231 Genetics Lectur e 1: I ntr oduction TCNJ Dar r ell Killian I t is r aining DNA outside. On the bank of the Oxford canal at the bottom of my garden is a large willow tree, and it is pumping downy seeds into the air . There is no consistent air movement, and the seeds are drifting outwards in all directions from the tree. Up and down the canal, as far as my binoculars can reach, the water is white with floating cottony flecks, and we can be sure that they have car peted the gr ound so much the same radius in other directions too. The cotton wool is mostly made of cellulose, and it dwarfs the tiny capsule that contains the DNA , the genetic information. The DNA content must be a small proportion of the total, so why did I say that it was raining DNA rather than cellulose? The answer is that it is the DNA that matter s. The cellulose fluff, although more bulky, is just a parachute, to be discarded. The whole performance, cotton wool, catkins, tr ee and all, is in aid of one thing and one thing only, the spr eading of DNA ar ound the countr yside. Not just any DNA, but DNA whose coded characters spell out specific instr uctions for building willow tr ees...
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2011 for the course GENETICS 8383 taught by Professor Love during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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killian-1_Intro-532843111 - 4/2/11 BI O231 Genetics Lectur...

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