- Created: Tuesday, 17 April 2012 00:00
- Written by Nadia O’Carroll
There was a time when only scientists talked about DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) now it has entered everyday conversation. DNA plays a vital and complex role in living organisms, but what is it?
DNA is a double stranded nucleic acid. It is present in most living organisms and determines their hereditary characteristics.
The structure of DNA resembles a ladder twisted into a spiral shape; this structure is described as a double helix. The two backbone strands consist of long polymers of nucleotides composed of sugar (deoxyribose) and phosphorus. The two strands are linked by hydrogen bonds between 4 types of complementary bases - adenine (A), guarine (G) cytosine (C) and thymine (T).