A simple Code of four parts = Life


A Machine not only does its job but also duplicates itself, producing generations of machines
to continue the work. Within each of us more than a trillion such perfect machines carry
on the work of life, a cycle of creation and renewal, an perfect orchestration
of tissues and fluids into a functioning body.


The machines are called cells.


In a cell (above) the nucleus functions as the control center, containing tightly packed coils of thread like molecules called deoxyribonucleic acid DNA, DNA-carrier of the genetic blueprints for an organism. The strands of DNA in a human cell are less than a trillionth of an inch thick. If unraveled would stretch out almost two yards. In the nucleus, some of the blueprints are copied. Then this dispatched like detailed drawings to the factory of the endoplasmic reticulum. Here tiny shops called ribosomes, built with proteins and material from the nucleolus. These drawings are used to assemble amino acids into the proteins that the cell needs. Mitochondria provide energy for the cell by burning
sugar products. In plant cells chloropiasts use sunlight to synthesize sugars.


Many countries have too little food, and hunger even more widespread looms ahead. Genetic engineers are trying to modify crops so they will make more nutritious proteins, resist disease and other stresses, and even provide some of their own fertilizer. Biologists are producing vaccines against diseases that attack livestock, and eventually they may be genetically engineering finer animals.

In the field of medicine, biotechnology promises aid for millions of people who suffer from diabetes and for thousands of youngsters afflicted with dwarfism. Deadly human ailments including heart disease and cancer are beginning to yield to biotechnology's weapons. So, too, may intractable genetic disorders such as sickle-cell anemia.

Mounting an assault on the energy shortage, molecular biologists are modifying bacteria to convert common wastes such as garbage or cornstalks into alcohol or natural gas, and studying a tree whose oily sap could serve as diesel fuel.
Some of these wonders are only dreams.
But there are realities too,
and every day sees new advances.


 

Is Our Fate in Our Genes


 

 

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