Difference Between DNA and RNA
Difference Between DNA and RNA

Although they are different terms and equally separate functions, they are often confused. There are differences between DNA and RNA. The first and one of the most important refers to the presence of different glucose in the molecules of both — deoxyribose in DNA and Ribose in RNA, hence their names.

DNA is composed of deoxyribonucleic acid and RNA is composed of ribonucleic acid. Both are nucleic acids, macromolecules essential for the life of organisms.

The fundamental structure of nucleic acids are nucleotides, which consist of:

  • A five-carbon or pentose sugar,
  • A phosphate group and
  • A nitrogen base.

Nucleotides connect to form polynucleotide chains.

What is DNA?

DNA is the genetic material present in all living things. In prokaryotes it is found in the cytoplasm of the cell; in the eukaryotic cell, it is found within the nucleus, in the mitochondria or chloroplasts.

It is a macromolecule of the group of nucleic acids and means deoxyribonucleic acid.

DNA Structure:

DNA Structure
source: byjus

The basis of nucleic acids is the nucleotide. In DNA, the nucleotide is composed of:

  • A five-carbon sugar (pentose) which is deoxyribose;
  • The phosphate group, which binds to the hydroxyl group of carbon 5 of deoxyribose and the hydroxyl of carbon 3 of another deoxyribose;
  • The nitrogen bases, which have nitrogen and can capture hydrogen, acquiring a primary character. Four nitrogenous bases are obtained in the DNA: adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine.

The DNA is found in the cell as a double chain that forms a helix.

Nucleotides bind and form a polynucleotide chain. The DNA is formed by two chains of polynucleotides that wind up forming a helix. We can see it as a spiral staircase, where phosphate and deoxyribose groups form the handrails, and pairs of nitrogen bases form the steps.

The pairing of the nitrogen bases is also characteristic of DNA, adenine is complemented with thymine and guanine is supplemented with thymine. The analogy is like a piece of LEGO that fits with another piece.

DNA types:

DNA has two types:

  • Nuclear DNA: is the DNA where all the genetic information of the cell is obtained and determines its function.
  • Mitochondrial DNA: Mitochondria have their DNA, which codes for the proteins necessary to carry out the function of these organelles. It is a circular DNA.

What is RNA?

RNA is a macromolecule of the nucleic acid group. RNA means ribonucleic acid. It is the link between DNA and cellular functioning. The genetic information stored in the DNA is “transcribed” to the RNA, which then “translates” the information into proteins. Proteins are the expression of genes.

RNA structure:

In RNA, the nucleotide is composed of:

  • A five-carbon sugar (pentose) that is ribose;
  • The phosphate group, which binds to the hydroxyl group of carbon 5 of one ribose and the hydroxyl of carbon 3 of another ribose;
  • The nitrogen bases, which have nitrogen and can capture hydrogen, acquiring a basic character. In the RNA, four nitrogenous bases are obtained: adenine, guanine, cytosine and uracil.

RNA has a single polynucleotide chain and is smaller than DNA. Although it is a linear chain, some RNAs can fold over themselves.

Both because of the similarities between DNA and RNA, as well as their differences, it is interesting to know that the characteristics of a person depend on them. Both are fundamental to the evolution of the species and are part of the key to life, and this is the answer you will find looking for “difference between DNA and RNA in Yahoo or Google or any book.”

4 Differences Between The DNA And RNA Molecules:

  • DNA stores genetic information, but RNA functions as a messenger.
  • DNA uses deoxyribose and ribose RNA.
  • DNA is stable under alkaline conditions, but RNA is not.
  • RNA has a single chain; DNA has a double chain.
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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.