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Explanation of Chemical Components of DNA
DNA is a nucleic acid. In simpler life forms, it resides within the cytoplasm of any given cell, however, within more complex organisms, (humans in particular) it resides within the nucleus of the cell itself.
The main structural component of the DNA
macromolecule, is the two long, intertwining polymers made up of smaller, simpler units known as
nucleotides themselves are created out of a simple nitrogenous base, chemically bound with sugars and phosphate groups joined together by a type of connection known as the '
The two long intertwining polymers are joined together, at the sugar molecules of the
nucleotides, by four separate types of
molecules known as '
bases' in the DNA sequence. These bases, chemically known as:
adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T), or more specifically, the ordering of these bases is what functionally determines the nature of the genetic code specified by the DNA
The bases themselves are classified into two groups known as
thymine). Albeit slightly on a different note,
RiboNucleic Acid) incorporates a fifth base known as
uracil (U) which takes the place of thymine within the functional
The DNA polymer chains are held together when the bases attached to the sugar groups of the
nucleotides are bound together by hydrogen connections, known as
base pairing. In simple terms, a
guanine molecule will bind with a
cytosine molecule (using three hydrogen bonds) and an
adenine molecule will bind with a
thymine molecule using two hydrogen bonds.
Bases located on either one of the two polymer chains within any given DNA
macromolecule will join with appropriate bases on the other chain, thus providing cohesion and even 'information storage' (as will be discussed later on in the site).
Components of DNA - Books on Sale and More
Description : The work of geneticists who have labored for years to map human DNA is the subject of this offbeat yet highly informative documentary from the PBS series Nova. Host Robert Krulwich, a correspondent for ABC Nightline, visits with scientists who explain, in terms understandable to laymen, the enormous challenges faced and overcome by scientists working on the Human Genome Project.
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Description : What makes DNA different from hordes of competitors purporting to help readers understand genetics is that it is written by none other than James Watson, of Watson and Crick fame. He and his co-author Andrew Berry have produced a clear and easygoing history of genetics, from Mendel through genome sequencing. Watson offers readers a sense of immediacy, a behind-the scenes familiarity with some of the most exciting developments in modern science.
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Description : Head into the lab for an in-depth investigation of genetics, the branch of biology focused on heredity and variation in organisms, and DNA, the acid that holds the blueprints for life.
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