What are some differences between RNA and DNA?

Structurally these molecules are very similar with a few differences. They are both made up of monomers called nucleotides. Nucleotides simply refer to nitrogenous bases, pentose sugar together with the phosphate backbone. The pairing of these bases is the same between these nucleic acids; namely guanine bonds with cytosine while adenine bonds with thymine, or with uracil in the case of RNA. Secondly, DNA is double-stranded while RNA is single stranded. Thirdly, DNA is more structurally stable compared to RNA. The comparably slight instability allows RNA to be flexible and more accessible and can thus fold into meaningful structures, a property that can be fully appreciated in the proteins RNA makes. Lastly, they both contain a pentose sugar; DNA is a deoxyribose, a characteristic referring to the hydrogen where the hydroxyl group is on the ribose of the RNA molecule. DNA is self-sufficient, providing a template for its DNA replication and the information for RNA synthesis. The antiparallel nature of DNA makes it such that each strand (antiparallel and parallel) can serve as a template and with the aid of numerous proteins can self-duplicate. This is especially integral because when you make new cells they all need to be copies of each other.

Answered by Vasiliki K. Biology tutor


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