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In 1947, Barbara McClintock discovered that some genes move around on the chromosome.  She called them "jumping genes"!


For Parents & Teachers

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     "Hi!  I'm glad you guys found me.  I've been busy copying the chromosomes, so you came at the right time.  Let me show you what I do.

   "When we make new chromosomes, its very, very important that the new chromosomes are exactly like the old ones.  Otherwise, you might have your nose coming out of your ear!

     "Making a new chromosome is like making a new zipper by using the old zipper as a model.  A zipper is a little simpler than a chromosome because a zipper only has one kind of tooth.  But, the overall operation would be the same.  Let's look at making a new zipper, okay?

Just Like a Zipper !!

   "What the DNA replication team does is very much like that.   While a zipper has only one kind of tooth, DNA has four; A, T, C, and G.   Lucky for me, they know where they belong.

    "The first thing the DNA replication team does is unwind (un-zip) a small section of the old chromosome and pull the two strands apart.

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    "Look at the nucleotides on the two strands.   See where an A is on one strand, a T is on the other?  See where a C is on one strand, a G is on the other?  Notice also, that C and T are smaller than G and A.   C and G fit together and A and T fit together.  Because they fit together only in these pairs, the free nucleotides float in and line up in the proper order all by themselves!  This  helps us make exact copies of the DNA.

     "When we are done, each old strand will have a new strand wound up with it.   A will always be across from T!  C will always be across from G!

    "Now that some of the chromosome is un-zipped, and the free nucleotides have started to float in and match up with the nucleotides on the old strands, I can start doing my job."


DNA REPLICATION:   For Parents & Teachers


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