Deoxyribonucleic Acid Structure
What Is DNA?
CLASS NOTES from Science Prof Online
Nucleotides are the small organic molecules that, when put together, become nucleic acids. Each nucleotide has three main parts:
- a pentose sugar called ribose
- one or more phosphate groups
- one of five cyclic nitrogenous bases
Article Summary: DNA(deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic blueprint of all life. Here are the basics of its construction and function.
The Virtual Microbiology Classroom provides a wide range of free educational resources including PowerPoint Lectures, Study Guides, Review Questions and Practice Test Questions.
How Do Nucleotides Put Themselves Together Into Nucleic Acids?
The construction of a nucleic acid is an anabolic polymerization process. Anabolic reactions use energy to build bigger molecules. Polymerization is the process of taking monomers, such as nucleotides, and putting them together into polymers (large molecules composed of many monomers).
To learn more about the structure and function of DNA see the following animations and SPO Class Note Articles:
- Cell Biology Animation from John Kyrk.
- animation and review questions.
- animated video by FreeScienceLectures.com.
- step-through animation by John Kyrk.
The nucleotide building blocks of DNA are triphosphates (nucleotides with three phosphates) and energy is stored in the bonds that link the phosphates together. When one of these phosphate bonds break, this provides the energy to add that nucleotide to the growing nucleic acid molecule.
Portions of this article originally appeared on Suite101 online magazine.
Page last updated: 10/2012
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