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I was trying to explain to a friend the other day how DNA recombination worked, and since this person has a practical mind and not a scientific one, I decided to use the concept of Scrabble (R) to try to help explain it.

Take the word PARENTS – seven letters or building blocks – P, A, R, E, N, T, and S.
Also, take the word GRAND – five letters or building blocks – g, r, a, n, and d

Now re-arrange these 12 letters and form some new words

PaSTErN, EnTRaPS, ArPEnTs, adAPTS, drAgNET, gRanTEd, DaNgER – all words made of the same basic building blocks as the words grand and PARENTS – and each containing different combination of letters

In a similar way, DNA is also recombined.

It then made sense to my friend, hope it makes sense to you too.


(Note: I am not a DNA expert, just someone looking for a simpler way to explain it.)

pastern: (noun) the sloping part of a horse’s foot between the fetlock and the hoof
Arpents: a former French unit of area; equal approximately to an acre