Nucleic Acids

Nucleic Acids


By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to:

  1. state the role of nucleic acids in biological systems.
  2. construct molecular and/or paper models of nucleotides and nucleic acids (DNA,RNA).
  3. identify structures in the cell where DNA, RNA and other nucleotides are found.
  4. differentiate between a purine and a pyrimidine and give an example of each.
  5. describe the composition of a nucleotide and be able to identify the structural formula of a typical nucleotide.

From the work of Watson and Crick, the nature of the DNA molecule became apparent.  It became accepted that nucleic acids are the class of organic molecules that carry the genetic code.   Once an acceptable model of its structure was developed, research turned to the study of other aspects of DNA.  How does it duplicate itself?  How does it operate in the cell? Researchers also turned their attention to the study of RNA - the molecule that works in conjunction with the DNA to build up protein.  

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Overview of the BIochemistry of this group from the Nucleotides, through RNA (and its many forms) and DNA.

Source: M. O'Mahony, DNAi (HHMI), wikipedia commons images

Nucleic Acids

Student Template for notes on Nucleic Acids

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Source: M. O'Mahony; wikipedia commons images

The Human Genome Project

HHMI has an excellent resource about the Human Genome Project.

Watson & Crick's paper on the structure of DNA was published in 1953; the goal was to have the Human Genome Sequenced 2003 - 50 years later.



Source: HHMI

Lecture on Micro RNA's

iBiology is a site with lectues on current topics in BIology delivered by some of the top researchers in the Field.

This lecture on miRNA is given by David Bartel, MIT, fellow of the Whitehead Institute and researcher with Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).


These seminars are great to listen to in order to develop deeper understanding of current Biology issues.

Source: iBIology Seminars

RNA was the First Genetic Molecule

Nice resource at http://www.dnaftb.org/26/index.html talking about the research and people who first started looking into this. 

Source: HHMI - DNA from the Beginning.