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The Key to Life

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Ryerson University
BLG 312
Franklyn Prescod

Nucleic Acids - The Key to Life  Nucleic acids carry the genetic code that determines the order of amino acids in proteins  Genetic material stores information, can be replicated, and undergoes mutations  Differ from proteins as it has phosphorus and NO sulphur  Made up of several chains of nucleotides  DNA and RNA are types of nucleic acids Nucleotide  Sugar-phosphate backbone (ensures stability of the molecule) o Pentose sugar  Deoxyribose in DNA  Ribose in RNA o Phosphate group  Organic bases o Purines (double rings of C and N - bigger)  Adenine  Guanine o Pyrimidines (single ring of C and N - smaller)  Thymine in DNA only  Uracil in RNA only  Cytosine Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)  Made up of 2 separate chains of nucleotides hold together by base pairing o Connected by weak hydrogen bonds o Can easily be opened for replication o Adenine-Thymine has 2 H-bonds o Cytosine-Guanine has 3 H-bonds  DNA normally twist into a helix (coil) / forms a double helix o Makes the molecule compact (store a lot in small space) o Protects from damage as base pairs are facing inwards  Both chains of DNA are o Directional → according to the attachment between sugars and phosphate group o Antiparallel → essential for gene coding and replication Semi-Cons
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