|Also known as: deoxyribonuclic acid|
|What is it?|
The molecule that encodes genetic information in the nucleus of cells. It determines the structure, function and behavior of the cell.
DNA is a double-stranded molecule held together by weak bonds between base pairs of nucleotides. The four nucleotides in DNA contain the bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T).
In nature, base pairs form only between A and T and between G and C, thus the base sequence of each single strand can be deduced from that of its partner.
The four nitrogenous bases of DNA are arranged along the sugar- phosphate backbone in a particular order (the DNA sequence), encoding all genetic instructions for an organism. Adenine (A) pairs with thymine (T), while cytosine (C) pairs with guanine (G). The two DNA strands are held together by weak bonds between the bases.
A gene is a segment of a DNA molecule (ranging from fewer than 1 thousand bases to several million), located in a particular position on a specific chromosome, whose base sequence contains the information necessary for protein synthesis.
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