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The difference between DNA and RNA

Every living cell in our body contains two genetic material compounds called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), which are responsible for reading and storing our genetic information, our cell production and the formation of responsible proteins Life Although both acids contain genetic material and are linear polymers consisting of sugars, phosphates, and bases, they have some important differences and differences. In this article, we will examine these differences to gain a better understanding of the functioning of these two acids and to fulfill their essential roles.

What are the functions of DNA and RNA?

If we look at DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid, we see that it has two functions. In the short term, it encodes all genetic information and acts as a blueprint from which to create genetic life. In the long run, DNA acts as a storage device, similar to a biological flash drive that allows the handover of the blueprint from one generation to the next. The function of RNA is to read and decode DNA in a multi-step process that performs the following steps:

  • Messenger RNA (mRNA) copies genetic code pieces using a transcription process and transports these copies to ribosomes, which are cell factories which produce proteins from this copied code.
  • Transfer RNA (tRNA) brings amino acids, which are the basic protein building blocks of our cells, to the cell factories as required in the encoded instructions of messenger RNA. This process is called translation and is responsible for protein formation.
  • Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is the main component of the ribosome factory, and without it we would not get any protein production at all.

Now that we've worked through the different functions of DNA and RNA, let's look at the main differences between structure, length, genetic makeup, location, and reactivity.

What are the differences between structure, length, location, and reactivity?

Both DNA and RNA consist of subunits called nucleotides. However, DNA consists of two strands arranged in a double helix formation, whereas RNA consists of only one strand. The nucleotides of the DNA contain 5-carbon sugar molecules, a nitrogen-containing base and a phosphate, while RNA has shorter strands and occasionally occasionally forms a secondary helix structure. As far as the length of the strands is concerned, a single chromosome can be several centimeters long when dissolved, while a large RNA molecule can only be several thousand base pairs long.

Regarding the genetic makeup of DNA and RNA, both contain sugars, but in DNA the sugar is deoxyribose, which contains one hydroxyl group less than RNA, and RNA contains ribose sugar molecules that have no hydroxyl modifications of deoxyribose. The bases each contain adenine, guanine and cytosine, but RNA contains uracil rather than thymine.

A look at the stability of DNA shows that it is more stable than RNA because it contains a less oxygen-containing hydroxyl group. RNA, because of its helical groove, tends to be more reactive than DNA, as it is more easily attacked by enzymes and therefore prone to unstable conditions. On the other hand, RNA is more resistant to UV light, while DNA is very sensitive. Finally, DNA can be found predominantly in the nucleus, with a small amount occurring in the mitochondria, while RNA forms in the nucleus and enters specialized areas within the cytoplasm.

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