Disclosure statement

Merlin Crossley functions for the college of new South Wales. He receives funding from the Australian study Council and also the nationwide Health and also Medical research Council.

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Eating DNA sounds scary but it’s totally safe. I perform it every day. Permit me explain.

DNA represents deoxyribonucleic acid. The words “acid” and also “nucleic” space in the surname so that is solid surprising the some world are concerned about its effects when eaten.

But the surname is nothing to worry about. While DNA is one acid, the a very weak one – much more like vinegar, or the citric mountain in lemons, than a attention acid like sulphuric acid.

What around the indigenous “nucleic”? That has actually nothing to perform with nuclear energy – it refers to the cell nucleus or center of the living cell. The cell nucleus is the compartment where, in animals, plants and also fungi, the DNA is stored. (In bacteria the DNA just floats around in the cell.)


The third part of the surname – “deoxyribo” – additionally has a chemical sound to it but this simply refers to ribose, i beg your pardon is a sugar a little bit like glucose yet with fewer carbons. The “deoxy” part means the ribose is lacking one oxygen atom.

This makes DNA a very stable, non-reactive molecule and ideal because that the lengthy term warehouse of hereditary information. That is also a great food.

Why am ns so sure that eat DNA is safe?

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I am certain because nearly all the food us eat has DNA and also lots of it. The reason is simple. Organisms space not built of constant matter like plasticine, us are made up of small balloons referred to as cells.

Ancient stories explain how people were fashioned indigenous clay however actually it is more like gift made the Lego blocks. Bacteria are single-celled organisms, most animals and plants room multi-celled organisms. Cats room bigger than mice due to the fact that they have more cells.

In a sense, we space all favor Lego constructions.

And here’s the amazing part – practically every cell has its own DNA (its own genetic information or genome) and each cabinet in her body carries her genome. So every block is an ext like a smartphone than a balloon – each block has actually its own computer system code or DNA genome.

In facility organisms each cell has the very same DNA yet interestingly different genes are energetic in various bodily organs. Think of genes as various apps ~ above a smartphone – so all the smartphones that comprise your liver will have actually one set of apps on, and your muscle cells will be using a different collection of apps.

In plants, different apps (genes) room on in leaves and also roots however all the cells of a plant lug the same collection of genes, i.e. The exact same genome.

So even if it is you are a vegetarian who eats lettuce and also cauliflower or one omnivore that eats steak and also kidney pies, you room eating cells, and also each cell includes DNA which in turn contains the entire genetic information or the entirety genome the each varieties you eat.

The just living parts that nothing contain DNA space things like egg white skin - man or filtered milk that space there for energy storage, or blood juices in which our blood cell float.

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DNA is moved out the hair when it develops so hair doesn’t have actually much – if any type of – DNA, but hair root do, and in mammals red blood cells (but no white blood cells) push out your DNA together they mature therefore they have the right to squeeze along tiny blood vessels.

But many parts of animals and plants are comprised of cell containing DNA. This is why police deserve to identify suspects from one of two people a autumn of blood or a hair root at a crime scene. They could also identify a lettuce or a strawberry native a sheet or indigenous the fruit.

If friend eat a 3 course enjoy the meal – oysters because that starters, chicken and also asparagus together a main, and also fruit salad because that dessert, you space eating too many of different DNA.

Can DNA native food obtain into my own DNA?

Basically, DNA, prefer proteins and complex carbohydrates, gets damaged down into pieces – this is what digestion is every about. Your this mash the up and also enzymes throughout her digestive tract reduced it come pieces.

Enzymes created by her pancreas referred to as DNases room specially design to rest the DNA right into tiny piece that have the right to be take away up right into your blood and also then brought around and also used by other cells to build brand-new molecular frameworks in her body – consisting of possibly your very own DNA.

Could any kind of of the genes, from any kind of of the biology you eat, acquire into her DNA and also do girlfriend harm? it’s a reasonable question, but the answer seems to be no. Imagine you dropped a smartphone in a blender or ate it (please don’t) – all the materials would be mashed up.

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Nicola Whitaker

When friend eat and digest DNA it appears that the lengthy coding sequences, the narratives or the apps that specify gene products, room so reduced up that they deserve to no longer role as hereditary material. There are couple of if any kind of sentences left, simply letters or fragments of words.

Even if some sentences did make it through your digestive device it is i can not qualify they would get in your cells or injury you in any way.

Our world is awash with DNA and constantly has been however there is no clear evidence that eating DNA can damage you.

Genetically modification organisms

So what around genetically modified organisms or GMOs? are they safe to eat too?

I absolutely think so. If you ate a fish through a gene from a strawberry or a strawberry with a gene indigenous a fish, come me the is no different from eating fish because that the key course and also strawberries because that dessert.

I don’t think eat DNA or any combination of different DNAs indigenous different types could execute us harm.

To to convince yourself that DNA is had in food you can do a simple experiment in ~ home. You deserve to extract DNA from fresh strawberries.

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I i will not ~ eat the DNA alone though. Once wet that is slimy and also when dry it looks favor cotton wool. Yet when blended with the other components of strawberry it is undetectable and also harmless, and also strawberries taste great as lock are.