DNA, RNA, Chromosomes, and Genes

History of Nucleic Acids

Which came first—DNA or RNA?

The first molecule had to be able to reproduce itself and carry out tasks similar to those done by proteins. However, proteins, even though bigger and more complicated than DNA, can’t make copies of themselves without the help of DNA and RNA. Therefore, RNA was the likely candidate as the first “information” molecule—mainly because scientists have found that RNA, unlike DNA, can replicate and then self-edit.


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