The molecular chain found in genes within the nucleus of each cell that carries the genetic information that enables cells to reproduce.
The principal constituent
of chromosomes, the structures that transmit hereditary characteristics. The amount of DNA is constant
for all typical cells of any given species of plant or animal (including humans), regardless of the size or
function of that cell. Each DNA molecule is a long, two-stranded chain made up of subunits, called
nucleotides, that contain a sugar (deoxyribose), a phosphate group, and one of four nitrogenous bases:
adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T), and cytosine (C). In 1953 J. D. Watson and F. H. Crick proposed
that the strands, connected by hydrogen bonds between the bases, were coiled in a double helix. Adenine
bonds only with thymine (A-T or T-A) and guanine only with cytosine (G-C or C-G). The
complementarity of this bonding ensures that DNA can be replicated (ie, that identical copies can be
made to transmit genetic information to the next generation).
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA):SFAF
a molecule found in the nucleus
of cells as a twisted double-stranded chain that encodes genetic information.
The particular sequence of 4 chemical building blocks (nucleotides) --
adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine -- that make up a DNA chain determines
the unique genetic code of an individual. See also ribonucleic acid.
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