THE HISTORY OF DNA (adapted from ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’, by Bill Bryson), BY KJ ROLLINSON.

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First of all, I want to apologise to Mr Bryson (Although, I think, he will not read it), I thought he had made a ‘typo’ using the word million instead of billion, when he referred to the age of the earth. I was taught in school that a million millions make a billion, but afterwards because Bill Bryson had used American language in his book, I wondered whether Americans calculated a billion differently. I ‘Googled’ it and to my surprise the following came up. ‘Previously in British English (but not in American English) the word “billion” referred to a million millions (1,000,000,000,000). However, this is no longer the case, and the word has been used unambiguously to mean one thousand million (1,000,000,000) for some time.’

Now, after the apology, I want to share some of Bill Bryson’s fascinating facts about DNA with you. DNA has been around for longer than…

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