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Definition: DNA


DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic (dee-OK-see-ri-bo-new-klee-ik) acid. It is the genetic information inside the cells of the body that helps make people who they are. Think of DNA as instructions for how to make the body, like the blueprints for a house.

Under a very strong microscope, DNA looks like a twisting ladder. Four different chemicals called nucleotides (NEW-klee-uh-tydes) pair up to make the rungs of the ladder. Groups of nucleotides make up genes. Genes determine things like what color a person's hair and eyes are and how tall they are. DNA is stored in the chromosomes (KRO-muh-sohms) that are inside every cell of the body. Everyone inherits two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.

Inside the cell is the chromosome, which unravels and shows the DNA. DNA is 2 strands connected with nucleotides. A gene is segment of DNA.

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