DNA, RNA, and Chromosomes

What are the component molecules of DNA?

The full name of DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, with the “nucleic” part coming from the location of DNA in the nuclei of eukaryotic cells. DNA is actually a polymer (long strand) of nucleotides. A nucleotide has three component parts: a phosphate group, a five-carbon sugar (deoxyribose), and a nitrogen base. If you visualize DNA as a ladder, the sides of the ladder are made of the phosphate and deoxyribose molecules, and the rungs are made of two different nitrogen bases. The nitrogen bases are the crucial part of the molecule with regard to genes. Specific sequences of nitrogen bases make up a gene.


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