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Biology/Where Is The DNA?

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QUESTION: Hi Walter,

Thank you for volunteering and engaging with learners, like myself.  I've two ideas I need your help with.

1.  Where is the DNA?  Is it in every cell of the body?  So any one part of the body holds information for the whole body?  (Something like fractals?)  To me this is an obvious question, but I've never heard it answered.  

2.  Can bioactive herbs affect our genes?  I think the correct expression would be change how the genes "express themselves", turn them on or off?  If so, how long would the bioactive herbs need to be ingested until the genetic "switch" is pulled; and how long after ceasing to ingest would the genetic switch flip back to it's original setting?

Anything to help me think through these issues appreciated.  Thanks again.

Cheers,
Usuff

ANSWER: Hi Usuff
 1. Yes identical DNA is in every cell of the body that has a nucleus. (Red blood cells have no nucleus are are not really cells It makes up the genetic material. The cells hold all the information for the body. The sex cells however hold only information for a male or female.

2.I am not sure what herbs you are talking about but if you are referring to the herbal supplements ,I would suggest that they do not have any effect on the genetic material

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Walter,

1. It seems so incredible that a cell in any part of the body e.g the intestines, has information on, say, the eyes.  It's like there's some kind of connection between any one part of the body to the rest of the entire body.  Am I overstating this or is this the way it is?

2. I also thought it improbable that a herb could affect genes until I came across the article below.  I don't fully understand it but it seems to say a herb can indeed impact on gene expression.  Does it suggest this?

http://Usuff.com/NEEM-GENE-TRANSCRIPTION-2005.pdf

Answer
Hello again Ustuff
1. I do not believe you are wrong. There has to be some intracellular communication as well as intercellular communication between cells for the proper functioning of the body. The sight of food will cause a release of saliva and sights and sounds of danger can trigger a flight or fight reaction.
2. I stand corrected. The study you cited seems to be legitimate following the proper scientific method

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Walter Hintz

Expertise

Science teacher for over 50 years. MSc. in biology. I can answer questions in general biology, zoology, botany, anatomy and physiology and biochemistry.

Experience

I have a MSc in biology and have been a science teacher for over 50 years. At present I am a faculty member at a college and a science consultant at seven catholic schools.

Publications
The Ohio journal of Science
Momentum-The Journal of the Catholic Education Association

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