EQUINOX GRAPHICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EQUINOX GRAPHICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
DNA double helix, unwinding then unzipping into its two complementary strands. DNA is formed of two sugar-phosphate strands (grey) linked by pairs of bases: adenine (green) binds with thymine (red), and guanine (yellow) binds with cytosine (blue). The sequence of bases along the strands forms a template for the production of proteins. The change from T to A seen here is a point mutation, and can lead to a different amino acid being incorporated into the intended protein, often significantly changing its properties. For example, sickle-cell anaemia is caused by a point mutation in the gene coding for the blood protein beta-haemoglobin.
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