one of the most important things ive learned from upper level biology education so far is that dna isnt the god-like all-powerful beacon of similarity between all living beings on the face of the earth as high school science textbooks will lead u to believe but actually is, in fact, the molecular equivalent of a smoldering dumpster fire that’s in a constant state of chaos and cellular scandal like some highlights: 

-the parts of dna that just casually detach on a physical level from the main strand, do some sick skateboard tricks in the cytoplasm, and land somewhere else with 43552342 copies

-the parts that would do A Thing if they wern’t physically spooled up so tightly that the Make Thing Happen machinery couldnt get to them

-the dna thats in ur mitochondria bc the mitochondria used to be a bacteria that our bigger, buffer cellular ancestors just vored in the primordial ooze 

-the dna that’s in chloroplasts in plants for the same reason

-rna….bitches be crazy like what is she gonna do next?? o she gonna act like a protein now and do shit?? im on the edge of my seat 

-sometimes u just gotta make more chromosomes man like sometimes u just be hanging out and u gotta make ur genome 64 sizes larger and then change ur mind only 100,000 years later and delete half of it and thats just how it is on this bitch of an earth

-random shit from like 5 BCE is just casually left over everywhere like no susan i told u to leave that gene alone we might need it to fight dinosaurs again u just never know!!!!!

dna is earth’s biggest and brightest train wreck and honestly i wouldnt trust a dna molecule to water my plants let alone run my body but here we fucking are 

I am feeling physically very unstable after reading this. 

I’m a genetics professor and everything here is true.

There’s a fern that has 1,260 chromosomes. That’s 630 pairs of chromosomes. No, we don’t know why.

Oh, and everyone should know that the person who first presented evidence for endosymbiosis (the official name for cells eating each other and then turning into mitochondria or chloroplasts instead of being digested) was this woman, Lynn Margulis, in 1967: 

 Her paper where she presented the theory was rejected 15 times before it got published. Over the next decade, her work was mocked and ignored. Now every biologist knows that she was right.

The bits of DNA that move around (“jumping genes”) were discovered by this woman, Barbara McClintock, in the 1940′s: 

Her work on them was ignored and derided for about two decades before some people started to take it seriously. In 1983 she won a Nobel Prize for it.

Something of a derail, but I feel strongly about talking about the contributions of these two women.

it’s never not the time to learn about cool women in science

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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