Monday, November 29, 2010
By way of review, the unit of genetic information that makes one workable protein chain is called a gene. This gene has two sides that come together to make its home along the DNA molecule. A gene determines the amino acid sequence of a larger protein called a peptide, which in turn fixes the properties (function) of this peptide in the organism. A change in the nucleotide sequence (codon) at one position of a DNA molecule (a SNP=snip) can alter the codon, thus its message, and create a change (mutation) in a gene. This change (mutation) can then be transmitted to the next generation, and the next, and the next, and so on, until this mutation ( a SNP=snip) becomes a marker for this genetic group. A haplogroup is born, and all members of this group that share this mutation (SNP=snip) become tagged with this marker to become a haplogroup. These SNPs = snips have been marked along the DNA, the Y-chromosome for the male, and the mitrochrondial DNA (mtDNA) for the females. These markers become the message board for that DNA's genetic history, and serves as a way to classifiy all human ethic groups. A generalized system of organization has been adopted for these markers, and a series of laboratory procedures have been developed to analysis these DNA markers. These test are widely available on the market today, and serve as an avenue to analysis the genetic history of your own DNA. Y-chromosome analysis for the males, and mtDNA for the female. The more markers you have analyzed, the more cost. Understanding how these markers work is the next stage.