So from a very young age you here about this thing DNA… Well what actually is it? What does it do? Those are the questions we will be answering in this mini wiki!
What is DNA?
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. Its the heredity material found in humans and almost all organisms. It carries all genetic information and is individual to each organism (1).
Where could you find DNA?
DNA is located in all of the cells, you can find it in the nucleus of the cell (2). Although it is such a long molecule it has to be tightly wound into chromosomes. The structure of DNA was discovered by Watson and Crick.
What does it do?
DNA holds all the genetic material. In simple terms its kind of like the map for making proteins in the body. From DNA, RNA can be made and then from RNA a chain of amino acids can be made which essentially makes a protein. (The chain reaction goes on and on so I’ll save it for another time!) (1).
What’s it made from?
It’s made from nucleotides. A nucleotide is built from a phosphate group, a sugar group and then one of four nitrogen bases. The four nitrogen bases are Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Cytosine (C) and Guanine (G). The bases come in two types purines (A & G) and pyrimidines (T&G) (1). The bases then pair up with 1 purine and 1 pyrimidine nucleotide. A & T pair together with 2 hydrogen bonds and C & G pair together with 3 hydrogen bonds. This then causes the double helix shape with the phosphate and sugar groups being on the outside (known as the sugar phosphate backbone) and the bases being on the inside (3).
5 things you need to know about DNA
- DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid
- DNA can be found in the nucleus of every cell.
- It is made from nucleotides
- Nucleotides come in two types, purines and pyrimidines
- There are 4 nitrogen bases that make up DNA. A, T, C & G.