Differences Between DNA and RNA

Posted October 4, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 1 min read

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, while RNA is ribonucleic acid. Although DNA and RNA both carry genetic information, there are quite a few differences between them.

Main Differences Between DNA and RNA

NameDeoxyriboNucleic AcidRiboNucleic Acid
FunctionLong-term storage of genetic information; transmission of genetic information to make other cells and new organisms.Used to transfer the genetic code from the nucleus to the ribosomes to make proteins. RNA is used to transmit genetic information in some organisms and may have been the molecule used to store genetic blueprints in primitive organisms.
Structural FeaturesB-form double helix. DNA is a double-stranded molecule consisting of a long chain of nucleotides.A-form helix. RNA usually is a single-strand helix consisting of shorter chains of nucleotides.
Composition of Bases and Sugarsdeoxyribose sugar phosphate backbone adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine basesribose sugar phosphate backbone adenine, guanine, cytosine, uracil bases
PropagationDNA is self-replicating.RNA is synthesized from DNA on an as-needed basis.
Base PairingAT (adenine-thymine) GC (guanine-cytosine)AU (adenine-uracil) GC (guanine-cytosine)
ReactivityThe C-H bonds in DNA make it fairly stable, plus the body destroys enzymes that would attack DNA. The small grooves in the helix also serve as protection, providing minimal space for enzymes to attach.
Ultraviolet DamageDNA is susceptible to UV damage.Compared with DNA, RNA is relatively resistant to UV damage.
differences dna rna

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