1. Describe the structure of DNA.
DNA is typically has two strands running in opposite direction and is usually referred to as a double helix. Each on the individual strands consists of a backbone that is formed by sugar molecules linked together in groups. Each individual sugar molecule is covalently linked to one of the following possible bases: Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine.
These bases are typically aligned perpendicular to the axis of the strand. As previously stated the strands run in opposite directions with the bases paired up with Adenine always with Thymine and Guanine always with Cytosine. Theses pairs form hydrogen bonds with the A/T pair having 2 and the G/C pair having 3. The extra hydrogen bond makes the G/C pair stronger.
2. How does an organisms genotype determine its phenotype?
The genotype is the organisms hereditary information while the phenotype is how the organism displays its properties. Another way of saying this is that the gene contributes to a particular trait while the phenotype is the expression of that gene. The genotype plays a large role in determining the development of the phenotype but other factors also play into its development such as plasticity, canalization and the environment.
Even identical genotypes can differ in the phenotype that results, a good example for this would be in identical twins. Its safe to say that while the genotype is not the final contributing factor to produce the phenotype it does play a role significant enough worth understanding
3. Describe each stage of the flow of information starting with DNA and ending with a trait.
The first stage in the flow of information is DNA. It stores the necessary instructions for the building of protein. DNA is can be viewed as the blueprints required to start the process. The next stage in the flow of information is the RNA. The instructions are copied from the DNA and at this point are referred to as a RNA molecule. These copies move away from the DNA with the next stop being the cytoplasm. From here the process of converting the RNA information into amino acids begins, eventually forming a protein. The functions of an organism reply on these proteins.