DNA is a polymer consisting of nucleotides. A DNA nucleotide is identified by the base it contains: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) or thymine (T). DNA is a double-stranded molecule. The strands are composed of covalently bonded sugar and phosphate molecules and are connected by complementary nucleotide pairs (A-T and C-G) like rungs on a ladder. The ladder twists to form a double helix.
The student will investigate and understand common mechanisms of inheritance and protein synthesis. Key concepts include a) cell growth and division; b) gamete formation; c) cell specialization; d) prediction of inheritance of traits based on the Mendelian laws of heredity; e) historical development of the structural model of DNA; f) genetic variation; g) the structure, function, and replication of nucleic acids; h) events involved in the construction of proteins; i) use, limitations, and misuse of genetic information; and j) exploration of the impact of DNA technologies.