DNA, RNA, and Chromosomes

What is the difference between DNA and RNA?

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a nucleic acid formed from a repetition of simple building blocks called nucleotides. The nucleotides consist of phosphate (PO4), sugar (deoxyribose), and a base that is either adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), or cytosine (C). In a DNA molecule, this basic unit is repeated in a double helix structure made from two chains of nucleotides linked between the bases. The links are either between A and T or between G and C. The structure of the bases does not allow other kinds of links. The famous double helix structure resembles a twisted ladder. The 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins (1916–2004) for determining the molecular structure of DNA.

RNA (ribonucleic acid) is also a nucleic acid, but it consists of a single chain and the sugar is ribose rather than deoxyribose. The bases are the same except that the thymine (T), which appears in DNA, is replaced by another base called uracil (U), which links only to adenine (A).


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