The Importance of Sequence

By Dave Hanks

The basic building blocks of all forms of life are cells. Cells are made out of protein. Protein is made out of amino acids. Amino acids are made out of the four basic elements of life: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen.

DNA is made out of nucleotides – symbolized as A, C, G, and T. RNA is half as wide as DNA and made out of nucleotides. RNA serves as DNA’s messenger to carry the code to synthesize the proteins needed – by matching the DNA nucleotides. The specific amino acids that each different protein molecule is made up of is controlled by the SEQUENCE of nucleotides within the section of DNA that is responsible for creating that particular protein. The nucleotides A, C, G, and T can be arranged (in groups of three) in many different ways. RNA has matched the DNA code, and as amino acids are released from food through digestion, they fall into place along the RNA strip where they match to form the protein molecules being synthesized.

So, what does all the above information I’ve laid on you mean? And, how does it all relate to the tremendous variations in the earth’s lifeforms, and the variations between individuals of each specific species? It all depends on the SEQUENCE of the DNA nucleotides; which in turn determines the types of amino acids produced, which in turn determines what we are and what we look like. Body tissue must continually be replaced – thus the need for nourishment to furnish the replacement materials. We literally have different C-H-O-N atoms in us than we had years ago.

We had a ham roast over the holidays. Meat is muscle, but that pig’s muscle had a different texture than mine. How did my body change the ham into the muscle that is in my body, or into my hair type? It all comes down once again to SEQUENCE. My DNA code caused my body to rearrange the SEQUENCE of the ham’s amino acids to the SEQUENCE that my body demands. That just a few basic building materials can be arranged in so many different ways is indeed mind boggling.

The BLACK BEAR CUB is eating berries and its body will cause the berries to become bear – all because of a change in the SEQUENCE of the materials eaten as directed by the bear’s DNA. What a striking contrast between the bear and the little ANOLE lizard, even though both are made from the same materials.

(Tremendous variations because of nucleotide SEQUENCES)