Over 17 million people are infected with AIDS in just Botswana, Africa itself and over a few million people are infected with some sort of cancer. As of March, 2003 no one has found a curer or even a vaccine to control the havoc these disastourous diseases lay upon people. Is it even possible to accomplish such a feat? If we can get a man on the moon, which is literally out of this world, how hard could it be to cure a couple of diseases? Apparently it's impossible to do so; or is it? Nancy Gibbs writes an article on how we have come so far in finding cures for diseases as well as many other things due to the discovery made by James Watson and Francis Crick.
What steps are involved in finding a cure? The very first step is usually the hardest, whether it's taking your very first steps to riding a bike for the first time, or even trying to find a cure for AIDS and cancer. The first step in accomplishing the latter challenge all involves the knowledge of DNA. Fortunately DNA was already broken down for us by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. They battled a challenge, to figure out the structure of DNA, and eventually the figured it was a 3 stranded molecule and that its base pairs paired up A-T and G-C. These two scientists had just decoded DNA. By cracking the DNA code these two had just paved the way in achieving cures for diseases as well as many other things like DNA matches in newborn babies to find the exact parents, also DNA is used in crime investigations to determine if blood or even hair left at the scene is potentially the suspects.
50 years later we have come a long way and have learned unimaginable things. Our DNA is a family tree that can tell us almost everything from the color of our eyes to the type of fish we evolved from. We have also come to know that every letter involved in DNA holds characteristics that we possess, it determines whether we " re fat and short, tall and skinny or even in some people how ugly they are. These letters also tell us if we are likely to attract a disease later on in life. All this is made possible through the decoding of DNA.
In 50 years we have learned a lot by knowing the structure of DNA. We eventually started the Human Genome Project to map out the entire human genome. In June of 2000 the very first rough draft was introduced to the world. According to Nancy Gibbs, .".. [the letters were] enough to fill 200 phone books at 1000 pages each or 75,490 New York Times". (Time p 44) This marked the completion of the first step in achieving the first step of finding cures for AIDS and cancer. Step two of the first step consists of finding out everything about the proteins in the body.
Proteins will be an even greater task because of the vast number of them found in the body. The proteins in our body are in such abundance that we had to make new numbers for them, tetra bytes and yottabytes. Through the discovery of the structure of DNA we are one step closer to finding cures and even better ways to live. This article appealed to me because even though DNA seems very complicated, it also seems to be the very "building blocks" of our lives. Through the discovery of the structure many things were possible. By decoding this one strand, so much was accomplished.
It amazes me that so many people in this world have diseases that we have no control over. With the continuing study of these "building blocks" hopefully even more things can be possible. It's unbelievable that if you uncoil a strip of DNA it stretches out 6 ft, yet it is small enough to fit into a cell. In the subtitle of this text Nancy Gibbs writes, "Cracking the DNA code has changed how we live, heal, eat and imagine the future". Has it really changed our lives so much? Well when you think about it, it sure has.
This is biology; DNA is the backbone of biology. I believe that many things that have to be done with biology in one way shape or form consist of the knowledge of DNA. It's so very hard to imagine a time when DNA was still coded. Even though we have artificial hearts and many other artificial body components we still try to use natural parts, even if they " re from a pig.
DNA has made it possible for us to use these natural organs within a human body. When it is necessary to receive an organ whether human or not you " re going to do whatever needs to be done to continue living. Hopefully all this advancements will lead to a discovery in the cure for AIDS and cancer. I have seen what the diseases due to the body.