Top 10 Things to Know About DNA and RNA

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  1. DNA and RNA are nucleic acids

DNA and RNA are information molecules known as nucleic acids. These are complex structures made from polymers, which are long bits of monomers strung together. Nucleic acids are complicated as they are made from a monomer with three components and can be single or double-stranded.

  1. DNA and RNA contain nucleotides

Nucleotides are what nucleic acids are made from. These acids are complicated as they contain multiple components. The first is a pentose sugar, either deoxyribose or ribose, the second is a nitrogenous base and the third is a phosphate group.

  1. DNA and RNA are created through condensation

Condensation is the process that bonds the nucleotides together to create the monomer. A polynucleotide chain is formed when a water molecule is removed to bond two nucleotides together. This makes up the molecule’s primary structure.

  1. DNA and RNA are not the same

Although polynucleotide chains are used to create both the DNA and RNA, their structures are not quite the same. This is because RNA has a nitrogenous base of uracil and DNA has thymine, RNA contains the sugar ribose while DNA contains deoxyribose and RNA is single-stranded rather than double-stranded like DNA.

  1. DNA has a double helix

The double helix of the DNA is its secondary structure and is created when the polynucleotide chains react together. These resemble the shape of a twisting staircase, which are positioned opposite each other and are connected by hydrogen bonds.

  1. RNA has a single polynucleotide chain

Although the RNA molecule is made up of one polynucleotide chain it can also contain a secondary structure that is three-dimensional, just like in DNA. However, this structure isn’t just one shape but can form many as RNA can criss-cross in different directions when forming.

  1. RNA comes in different types

There is no single type of RNA as it may have different tasks. Messenger RNA is used to transport information about protein structure from DNA to ribosomes, transfer RNA translates information sent from messenger RNA and ribosomal RNA is part of ribosomes, which make protein.

  1. DNA and RNA store information

Both DNA and RNA store information which helps the body to create the types of cells and organisms that are needed to support it. This information is created through the specific order of nitrogenous bases inside the molecules.

  1. DNA contains instructions

The code that DNA contains gives information about protein structure, which is embedded in the DNA’s nucleotides. This information indicates the process which the amino acids must connect in order to create certain proteins. DNA also contain instructions on how to pick up information within it using DNA-binding proteins.

  1. DNA can be extracted

Scientists have tried to extract DNA from dead cells with varying levels of success. Although they have found it difficult to extract from amber because of bacterial interference, they have been more successful when extracting DNA from ice.

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