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The scale of things

  1. Jun 21, 2005 #1
    Hi All,

    I was wondering if someone could help me with a basic understanding of the scale of things in our body.

    I love this little animation that Brian Greene has out there
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/scale.html

    I know very little about biology, so you’ll need to humor me if these are stupid questions.

    1. What is a DNA chain made up of? A series of double Helix’s?
    2. Are these double Helixes then simply made up of carbon atoms?
    3. What is a cell then made of?

    Thanks
    Warrick
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2005 #2

    Ouabache

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    Hmmmm.. I always wondered what was in an apple at resolution of [tex]10^{-35}[/tex] m :rolleyes:

    A DNA chain is made up of sugars (deoxyribose), nucleobases
    (purines & pyrimidines) and phosphate, bound together in a double helical arrangement.
    Not a series of double helices but one continuous double helix.

    As you will see from the links, the double helix is not made simply of carbon atoms. Though by chemistry short-hand, when you see a ring shaped molucule such as deoxyribose or adenine, the vertices of the ring that are not labelled, are implied to have a carbon atom at those points. Here is a clearer diagram to what I am referring.

    A cell is quite complex, it has macroscopic structure. Underlying that, is its chemical composition and interaction.
    The chemistry of a cell is part of a unique discipline, biochemistry.
     
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