Structure of DNA

What is DNA?

What does DNA look like?

What are the strands made of?

What is the centre made of?

Hydrogen bonds

DNA is a very stable molecule


What is DNA?


DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a large molecule which carries the genetic information, or blueprint, of all life on Earth. Mutations arising in the DNA code account for the diversity upon which evolution by natural selection can work. Therefore, it is not far-fetched to say that DNA is one of the central, most important molecules in living organisms.


For such an important molecule, it sure looks beautiful:

…actually, in reality it looks more like this:

Pink candy floss anyone? The above image is a scanning electron micrograph, as you can see the 3D shape of DNA. The pink colour is likely due to to the colour stain that is used…. disappointing i know..

DNA is a double helix i.e. two individual strands running along each other in an anti-parallel way, connected to one another by relatively weak hydrogen bonds. DNA’s structure can be learned easily by thinking about the strands and the “stuff in-between” separately.

What are the strands made of?

The strands are made of repeating units consisting of a deoxyribose (sugar) molecule with a phosphate molecule attached to it…….


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