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Author: Amanda Soderlind

This lesson will show the difference in structure between deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid.

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DNA and RNA are two very important pieces of genetic material. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid made of a deoxyribose sugar) is responsible for carrying all of your inherited genes. It controls your cells and determines who you are. RNA (Ribonucleic Acid made of ribose sugar) is genetic material responsible for synthesizing proteins in your cells. Proteins are necessary for cells to function properly and for enzymes to be produced. DNA is made up of four base pairs called adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. In DNA adenine pairs with thymine and cytosine pairs with guanine. RNA is made up of four base pairs called adenine, cytosine, uracil and guanine. In RNA adenine pairs with uracil and cytosine pairs with guanine. In addition, DNA can generally be found in the form of a double helix whereas RNA is generally found as a single strand. Each nucleotide in DNA is made up of a 5 carbon sugar called a pentose sugar, a nitrogenous base and a phosphate group. In RNA there is no phosphate group in the nucleotides.