DNA: definition

High School ・Biology ・MLA ・3 Sources

Every living thing and virus has molecules that carry genetic information that is necessary for growth, reproduction, and functioning. These molecules are known as DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is necessary for the coding of genetic information for the transmission of inherited characteristics. It is found in the cell nucleus, with minute traces in the mitochondria. DNA has many characteristics and it is made up of two biopolymer strands that are known as polynucleotides which are made up of smaller units of nucleotides. Nucleotides comprise four nucleobases that contain nitrogen. They are adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine (Landry). They are paired with hydrogen bonds; adenine is paired with thymine while cytosine is paired with guanine forming a helical spiral that winds around a helical axis forming a double-stranded helical structure. DNA carries genetic codes that are read in the mechanism of protein synthesis to develop new proteins.


Ribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid found in all cells of living organisms, it acts as a messenger, transferring information from DNA to control proteins production. RNA is similar to DNA since they are both made up of monomers referred to as nucleotides(Marin-Gonzalez , 7050). Both of them contain pentose sugars and have three nitrogenous bases that are similar, adenine, cytosine and guanine. The two molecules include phosphate groups in their nucleotides also referred to as phosphoric acid. DNA and RNA contain the base pair of guanine and cytosine. They are both required in protein synthesis.

Deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid have some differences. DNA is a double-stranded structure while RNA is made up of a single strand. They both contain different pentose sugars, DNA has deoxyribose while RNA has ribose. DNA molecules are limited to the nucleus only while RNA molecules are made in the nucleus, but they can move outside the nucleus. Deoxyribonucleic acid contains a nitrogenous base referred to as thymine while ribonucleic acid contains uracil. Thymine is paired to adenine in a DNA molecule while in an RNA molecule, uracil is paired with adenine. Only one type of DNA exists while RNA has three kinds that include a messenger, ribosomal and transfer RNA.


When DNA divides itself, replication takes place. The process occurs when the two strands start by unwinding from each other. Before separation occurs, the strands are snapped or broken to remove the strain. The base pairs are weakened further creating a y shaped structure referred to as a replication fork. After separation, the DNA is left bare without any pair, and complementary pairing occurs of the nucleotide bases. The joints are further completed with the help of polymerases, as the new DNA continues to replicate the newly formed DNA strands continuously elongate while the older DNA continues to unwind the result is the formation of a new DNA(Zhao, 750). Both RNA and DNA are not mutually exclusive; they co-exist together since ribonucleic acid is responsible for transferring information from the DNA that is responsible for protein synthesis.


It is possible for the DNA of a child to reveal parents of that child; the process is done through paternity tests which show whether two people are biologically child and parent. The process is currently a right technology to establish the parentage of someone. Chimeras might prevent us from carrying out paternity tests. They are individuals that contain two gene sets that are different. Most people hold single gene sets that are distinct(Marin-Gonzalez,7050). When a paternity test is carried out for people who have two gene sets, it can sometimes be negative if the tissue that is responsible for reproduction is different from the tissue that was used to carry out the test.


Majority of people say that DNA testing is the best method to use to determine the parentage of a child, this is true and we should be able to trust it since DNA testing provides the correct information due to advancements in technology. We know for sure that a parent and a child share 99.5% of their DNA since genetic information from a parent is passed to a child.

Works Cited

Landry, Markita P., Lela Vukovic, Sebastian Kruss, Gili Bisker, Alexandra M. Landry, Shahrin Islam, Rishabh Jain, Klaus Schulten, and Michael S. Strano. ""Comparative dynamics and sequence dependence of DNA and RNA binding to single walled carbon nanotubes." The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 119, no. 18 (2015): 10048-10058.

Marin-Gonzalez, Alberto, J. G. Vilhena, Ruben Perez, and Fernando Moreno-Herrero. " "Understanding the mechanical response of double-stranded DNA and RNA under constant stretching forces using all-atom molecular dynamics."." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, no. 27 (2017): 7049-7054.

Zhao, Wei, Xiaping He, Katherine A. Hoadley, Joel S. Parker, David Neil Hayes, and Charles M. Perou. ""Comparison of RNA-Seq by poly (A) capture, ribosomal RNA depletion, and DNA microarray for expression profiling."." BMC genomics 15, no. 1 (2014): 419.

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