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Deoxyribonucleic acid, better known as "DNA", is the building block of most carbon-based lifeforms. It is considered the blueprint for a living organism, and helps form the physical structure and anatomical characteristics of an organic lifeform. If DNA is changed in any way, the host organism responds to the change by re-making itself in the form specified by the new DNA, often extremely rapidly.

DNA is the material that carries all the information about how a living thing will look and function. For instance, DNA in humans determines such things as what color the eyes are and how the lungs work. Each piece of information is carried on a different section of the DNA. These sections are called genes. Sometimes there are mistakes in DNA. These mistakes are called mutations. They can cause diseases and other problems.

DNA has a complex structure. It is made of chemical substances that are linked together like a chain. Each piece of DNA has two long strands, or chains. The two strands are joined together. They form a shape like a ladder that has been twisted into a spiral. Chemicals called phosphates and sugars make up the sides of the ladder. DNA also has chemicals called bases. Each base on one strand is joined to a base on the other strand. The linked bases form the rungs of the ladder.

Fun Facts:

  • DNA samples were collected from all Vulcan children at birth and kept on file by the Vulcan government.
  • Over one-hundred years of testing has proven that use of the transporter has no ill effects on DNA.