What On Earth?

If an organ is transplanted into someone, does that organ still retain the DNA from the previous owner, even if the organ grows larger?

If an organ is transplanted into someone, does that organ still retain the DNA from the previous owner, even if the organ grows larger?

A transplanted organ always retains the DNA of its previous owner. When an organ grows, it either "enlarges" already existing cells or its cells divide. In the case of enlarging, the cellular structures are extended using molecular compounds present in the body. The nucleus, which contains the DNA, is not affected by any of these processes. When cells divide, they do this in a process called mitosis, in which the genetic information – DNA – is duplicated with the rest of the cell. "Parental" and "daughter" cell are identical. Here, too, no alteration of the DNA is observed. In both cases the cells of the organ keep their original genetic information.

Why when I pour a fizzy drink does a stream of bubbles appear to come from one bubble that remains fixed to the glass?

The bubbles in fizzy drinks are undissolved carbon dioxide, which is also present in drinks as a dissolved gas. The gas bubbles form more easily on slightly rough, slightly porous places, so it may be that the points from which the bubbles rise are where the surface of your glass is less smooth. This is a trick known by the makers of beer glasses – sometimes you get glasses with pictures etched on the bottom, so the bubbles form there, and the "head" of the beer lasts longer. In Germany, they put rice grains in the bottom of the glass so more bubbles form and the drink doesn't go flat.

Why is the outer skin of cacti so fat?

The cactus is basically a big fat stem covered by a thick waxy cuticle. Because the cactus is naturally found in a dry habitat, conservation of water is vital. It has no leaves because they lose water too easily. The fact they are thin and have a large surface area means evaporation takes place rapidly. The cactus uses its stem to perform the function of the leaves; that is to absorb sunlight and photosynthesise making the plant's food. The thickness of the stem reduces water loss. The waxy cuticle that gives the plant its shiny appearance also prevents water loss.

Why do men have an Adam's apple and women don't?

The Adam's apple is a structure made of cartilage in the front of the neck. It is part of the voice box (larynx) and is usually larger in men than in women, so both men and women have an Adam's apple. They are larger in men because during puberty the male sex hormone testosterone causes it to grow larger. Because of this, men have longer vocal cords and a deeper voice.

For further information contact: www.sciencenet.org.uk; or ask your own questions on Science Line Freephone: 0808 800 4000

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there