Written by Sahana Kumar – a grade 5 student of Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai.
Narrator: Bill and Will are two double helixes – DNA in other words. They are here to tell you the story of their lives.
Bill: (Dramatically) We are here to tell you about the story of our life.
We are the simplest of creatures, but the most complex. Will: We are invincible! With an incredible backbone of sugar and an element called phosphate, we are unsurpassed.
Bill: After every plant, animal and human perishes, we will remain!
Will: We have steadily climbed up civilization like the rungs of a ladder. We are ladders. Our rungs are made up of the fundamental items of the genetic code: Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Thymine are our very essence!
Bill: (Bragging) We have the power to replicate each other. Each of us have the same genetic code as our parents. There are more of us in the world than any living organism!
Will: If we deserted the humans, all would be lost. They would not be able to reproduce and their race would slowly die out one by one. It is to us they owe their existence.
Bill: We are used in many important things. We help parents to give birth to babies. We are also used in a new technology called CRISPR Cas-9 in which we work miracles. Parts of us are cut out or added into a sick patient’s body and they are cured!
Will: But they are not as miraculous as us. They are not using our power to the full potential. Scientists are still finding out how to cure sick patients with our crowning glory!
Bill: We are unique. No double helix is the same as another. As humans reproduce, a part of one of us in the mother and another part in the father make up the DNA of the baby. No human DNA is the same as another’s. What wonders we are!
Will: We are also used to trace family lineage. DNA from both the father and the mother is checked and you can trace your ancestry to even six to eight generations before your birth!
Bill: DNA can also be used to identify criminals. If even a hair on the criminal’s head is found, the unique proteins found in it can help to track him/her!! We are indeed so useful!
Will: DNA is also used to make genetically modified plants. They are plants that have DNA which is artificially inserted instead of normal DNA from pollination. They give higher crop yields and the farming cost is reduced while the profit is increased. Moreover, the food becomes more nutritious and less pesticides are used, leading to a safer environment. Look, what wonders! (us, not the plants).
Narrator: In the wake of the novel Coronavirus, DNA and RNA could help a lot. DNA and RNA vaccines work differently from normal vaccines. Sequences are taken out from anywhere in our DNA to form a sequence that normally wouldn’t exist in our body. This can be used to transfer genes through organisms. So the gene sequence of Coronavirus spike protein is inserted into RNA. RNA is like DNA and is also made of the fundamental items of genetic code (Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Uracil). This when injected can make the spike protein in the body. Lesser time than making the whole virus. The white blood cells learn about the virus. The next time that disease attacks us, we’re safe because our cells already know about that disease and know how to fight it again.
Bill: I hope you got to know how hard it is to be as awesome as us!
Written by Sahana Kumar
Sahana is an avid reader, likes politics and history and geography. She swims competitively. She loves art. She is a student of Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai and is currently in Grade 5 and would mostly move to Grade 6 without writing her exams
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