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7 Facts About Mitochondrial DNA

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Mitochondrial DNA is the DNA located in mitochondria, cellular organelles within eukaryotic cells that convert chemical energy from food into a form that cells can use, adenosine triphosphate.

Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule that carries the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning and reproduction of all known living organisms and many viruses.

A eukaryote is any organism whose cells have a nucleus and other organelles enclosed within membranes.

In cell biology, an organelle is a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function.

Mitochondrial diseases by nature video

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Mitochondrial DNA is only a small portion of the DNA in a eukaryotic cell; most of the DNA can be found in the cell nucleus and, in plants and algae, also in plastids such as chloroplasts.

The plastid is a major double-membrane organelle found, among others, in the cells of plants and algae.

Chloroplasts are organelles, specialized subunits, in plant and algal cells.

Mitochondrial DNA by Shomu's Biology

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In humans, the 16,569 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA encode for only 37 genes.

Modern humans are the only extant members of Hominina clade, a branch of the taxonomical tribe Hominini belonging to the family of great apes.

A gene is a locus of DNA which is made up of nucleotides and is the molecular unit of heredity.

A base pair is a unit consisting of two nucleobases bound to each other by hydrogen bonds.

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Human mitochondrial DNA was the first significant part of the human genome to be sequenced.

The human genome is the complete set of nucleic acid sequence for humans, encoded as DNA within the 23 chromosome pairs in cell nuclei and in a small DNA molecule found within individual mitochondria.

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In most species, including humans, mtDNA is inherited solely from the mother.

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Since animal mtDNA evolves faster than nuclear genetic markers, it represents a mainstay of phylogenetics and evolutionary biology.

In biology, phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary history and relationships among individuals or groups of organisms.

Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.

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It also permits an examination of the relatedness of populations, and so has become important in anthropology and biogeography.

Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time.

Anthropology is the study of various aspects of humans within past and present societies.

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