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This image was the first of five posters prepared by Carrie Resseger for the Annual Biology Graduate Student Symposium, held at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. This image is intended to demonstrate the interrelatedness of all forms of life on our planet.

As we know, all life on this planet is composed primarily of 4 biological macromolecules: DNA, protein, lipids and carbohydrates. DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, the heritable material, makes up our "genes" and is the ultimate source of what we become as we grow and develop.

The bulk of what we see and touch, however, is composed of proteins, made of amino acids, the code for which, as mentioned, comes from the DNA in our nuclei. The lipids make up the membranes that surround cells and organelles, and function also in energy storage, as do carbohydrates, which play additional roles in structural support, and, as we are discovering, function in the identification of 'self".

In this image, The blue strand is the DNA double helix. The "flower" in the upper left-hand corner is what a chemical model of DNA looks like if you look at the strand from an open end. The image incorporates organisms from the various clades (phyla) and demonstrates their relatedness by having the DNA as the strand that links all biological organisms. DNA and molecular systematics show the relationships of organisms. Bacteria, protists, plants, fungi, and animals are all related and are all composed of the same materials, which they inherited from their common ancestor. All are vital to the continued survival of life on this planet.


© Demers &  Meers (2006). All rights reserved.
Do not reproduce without permission.
Last updated January 8, 2006