DNA! This word excites us. It instantly brings curiosity in our mind to know something more about this.
DNA is probably the most famous biological molecule. It is present in nearly all life forms on earth.
In this article, we will talk about the basics of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
What is DNA?
It is a long polymer of deoxyribonucleotides. It serves as the primary unit of heredity in organisms.
DNA & RNA are the two types of nucleic acids found in living systems. DNA acts as the genetic material in most of the
organisms. RNA acts as a genetic material
in some viruses, mostly functions as a messenger.
DNA carries the instructions for the development, growth, reproduction and functioning of whole life. It holds the instructions for building the proteins that are essential for our bodies to function.
DNA is a two-stranded molecule that appears twisted that gives its a unique shape referred to as the double helix.
Structure of DNA
We have already read that DNA has a double helix structure. Now the question arises, what DNA is made up of?
We had to understand the chemical structure of a polynucleotide chain (DNA). A nucleotide has three components –
- a nitrogenous base (A, T, G or C)
- a pentose sugar (deoxyribose for DNA),
- and a phosphate group.
This is just a brief explanation, for detailed structured of DNA; read this article.
Do you know the most interesting fact about DNA? It is its packaging.
The length of DNA is usually defined as the number of nucleotides present in it. If we calculate the length of DNA, it comes out to be approximately 2.2 metres. Ever wondered how this much long DNA is packed in the nucleus. Read this post if you are interested in knowing complex engineering behind DNA packaging.