BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in April 2004We've left it here for reference.More information

11 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
BBC NorfolkBBC Norfolk

BBC Homepage
England
» Norfolk
Kids 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
Graphic: You are in Norfolk > KidsGo to Norfolk homepageGo to kids index

01 April 2004 1405 BST
Graphic: A-Z of Norfolk Science, D: DNA

DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid

Scientists in Norfolk have made history by discovering the DNA of plant life through a weed called thale.


Graphic: Internet Links

John Innes Centre

BBC Science: Genes

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Grahpic: Check this out
Albert Einstein
Broads
Conservation
DNA
Eco-power
Five alive
Global warming
Hovercraft
Inspire science
Jurassic period
Kid's laboratory
Lift off
Mammoth find
Natterers bat
Otters
Physician
Quiz time
Robots
Space
That's genius
Underground
Venus
Weird weather
X-cavation
autogYro
Zoo
Graphic: Print this page
print friendly version of this page. View print friendly version of this page

What is DNA?

Imagine your body is a computer. It needs lots of bits to make it work, but most importantly it needs a computer programme.

The computer programme can only work with code, which helps make the computer work.

DNA (which stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid) is like the computer programme, except it is found in all living things.

DNA contains the instructions for a living thing to grow and to work. These instructions are like the code in a computer programme, and in living things are called genes.

What did the Norfolk scientists discover?

Scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich were part of an international team that spent more than four years looking at the DNA of a weed called thale cress (or Arabidopsis thaliana).

Professor Mike Bevan talking about the research in December

Use the BBC Webwise guide to downloading realplayer

The John Innes Centre is a very important place for research and training in plant and microbial science.

They believe that understanding the DNA code of thale cress is important because it could help make many changes to farming.

They could use their research to help stop crops dying from disease and could even give help scientists learn more about human health.

Plant and animal biology are similar and this means that work on DNA could also help us understand the human body.

Understanding plants

Because the scientists at the John Innes Centre found the DNA to the weed, they are able to study all the genes in one plant at one time.

The plant's genes have already helped scientists to protect crops like wheat, from disease.

The research will also help scientists understand why some plants survive and others die.

For example, experts are working on a study that compares Genetically Modified (GM) and non GM crops under drought and non-drought conditions.

Recommended reading
By Sheila McKeown, a librarian at the Millennium Library in Norwich.

Genetics by Richard Beatty. Hodder Wayland 2001. ISBN 075023380x.

Genetics: Present Knowledge, Future Trends, by Moira Butterfield. Watts 2002, ISBN 0749645873.

You can get hold of these books through your local library.

 

Read more: CBBC Newsround: Children break DNA model record »

More A-Z: Go to E »

 

jump to homepage.
jump to kids index.
send an e-mail to the BBC website for Norfolk.
jump to top of page.
Graphic: More Norfolk kids

Picture: Lydia: link.

Book review: The Inventors

Jake pops back home

Gardening with grandpa Gipp

Graphic: Not to be missed

Norfolk has loads of cool stuff for kids to do. Check out what's on offer and enjoy these features.
Graphic: Stuff to do and make

Looking for stuff to do at home or with your mates? Try these makes and science experiments.
Graphic: Live webchat with Chris Rankin: link

Weasley webchat: What did you ask actor Chris Rankin?
Graphic: A-Z of Norfolk Science: link

Amazing scientific facts and features where you live




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy