The building blocks of all living things

What is DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information. Frederich Miescher observed DNA in the 1800's.

What does DNA do?

Heredity, Replication, and Protein Production

DNA Structure and Replication: Crash Course Biology #10

What is RNA?

ribonucleic acid, a nucleic acid present in all living cells. Its main role is to act as a messenger carrying instructions from DNA for controlling the synthesis, in some viruses RNA rather than DNA carries the genetic information.

Types of RNA

  1. mRNA or Messenger RNA
    mRNA transcribes the genetic code from DNA into a form that can be read and used to make proteins. mRNA carries genetic information from the nucleus to the cytoplasm of a cell.

  2. rRNA or Ribosomal RNA
    rRNA is located in the cytoplasm of a cell, where ribosomes are found. rRNA directs the translation of mRNA into proteins.

  3. tRNA or Transfer RNA
    Like rRNA, tRNA is located in the cellular cytoplasm and is involved in protein synthesis. Transfer RNA brings or transfers amino acids to the ribosome that correspond to each three-nucleotide codon of rRNA. The amino acids then can be joined together and processed to make polypeptides and proteins.

What does RNA do?

RNA is involved as a carrier of information, and as a catalyst for the synthesis of the peptide bond.