Briefly explain the structure and function of DNA.

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Structure of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid):

  1. DNA's structure was hypothesized by Watson and Crick.
  2. It consists of two anti-parallel strands that wrap around one another to create a right-handed DNA helix.
  3. Phosphorus, nucleotides, and sugar make up the building blocks of DNA.
  4. In DNA, there are roughly 10 nucleotides per turn.
  5. Major and minor grooves can be found on it.
  6. On one side of the helix compared to the other, the strand backbones are closer together.
  7. Where the backbones are separated by a large distance, the major groove appears, and when they are close together, the minor groove.
  8. On opposite sides of the molecule, the grooves encircle it.
  9. Purines and pyrimidines are nitrogen-based compounds.
  10. Adenine (A) and guanine (G) are purines while cytosine (C) and thymine (T) are pyrimidines.
  11. There are three hydrogen bonds between cytosine and guanine and two hydrogen bonds between adenine and thymine.
  12. Chargaff's rules state that DNA from any species of any organism should have a 1:1 stoichiometric ratio of purine and pyrimidine bases and, more specifically, that the amount of guanine should be equal to cytosine and the amount of adenine should be equal to thymine.
  13. This pattern is found in both strands of the DNA.

Functions of DNA:

  1. DNA serves as the hereditary material for the cell.
  2. It is the storage medium for genetic information.
  3. DNA replication is the process by which the information in the DNA is passed along from parents to children.
  4. When DNA is replicated, a duplicate copy of its DNA is made.
  5. During cell division, these DNA copies are correctly distributed to each daughter cell.

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