DNA is the blueprint of biological life from its inception to its growth and till death. Its discovery has not only revolutionized science and medicine but it has affected all walks of life; whether they are social, legal, criminal or inheritance related. DNA’s discovery has become important to the extent that it has even influenced a nation’s security parameters / concerns, as scientists have gone all the way to developing biological weapons.
The simplest answer for “Why Is DNA Important?” is that DNA is the prerequisite for life’s inception. It dictates life in two manners. Firstly, it transfers hereditary information from generation to generation. Secondly, it controls the production of proteins. DNA even determines the structure of the cell, meaning whether it would be a nerve cell or eye cell etc.
Genealogy, i.e. the study of ancestry, depends on the study of DNA. With the help of verbal and written history, and cues from DNA testing, one can trace his ancestors and learn about his family tree. It is so, because of the fact that DNA duplicates itself at cell division (in embryo) and passes on all of its properties to its daughter cells. Thus genetic information gets passed from generation to generation. In this transfer, Y-chromosomes do not change that much with the passage of time, hence it helps in assessing the true father and grandfather and even the whole family tree. This resolves not only social matters but legal and inheritance matters as well. Genealogy is also useful in determining the biological mother and other relatives. It can even tell if two siblings truly share the same parents. Study of DNA in genealogy has also shown its importance in detecting the hereditary diseases and in working out their cure.
When it comes to forensic science and its applications, DNA is an important part of it. It has resulted in many breakthroughs in criminal cases as it can be used to trace the criminals by comparing the DNA samples found on the crime scene with those extracted from the suspects.
DNA’s discovery has proved very important for our agriculture too. Scientists have used this knowledge to improve the food products and crops by genetically modifying them and making them more powerful to fight diseases. This way they have increased the magnitude of agricultural production too. Similar technology has been applied by animal farming industry resulting in improved breeding and stronger built of animals.