The Function of DNAEarlier, in Chapter 1, we considered the relationship between structure and function. We will now see how the structure of DNA directly relates to its function. In brief, the functions of DNA are
- To carry the genetic information of the organism;
- To control the development of the cell and the organism;
- To direct the function of the cell, including its reproduction and metabolism.
Since DNA has the same structure in all organisms, and it dictates the function of the cell, it is natural to wonder what makes species different. It is not the basic structure of the DNA, but rather the exact arrangement of the components of DNA that determines this difference. In fact, this arrangement not only accounts for the difference among species, but also for the uniqueness of individuals in the same species.