With the constant advances in molecular technology, more and more people, without dedicating themselves to it, want to know what the different basic concepts related to this science are. Do you know the difference between DNA and RNA?
On this particular occasion, we want to dwell on two notions that usually cause problems for those who come to them for the first time, such as DNA and RNA.
And it is that, although it is not so common to stop at the RNA as at the DNA, most of us are not able to differentiate them from their definition.
Difference between DNA and RNA
The first thing to mention in this regard is that DNA means “deoxyribonucleic acid”, and RNA “ribonucleic acid”, which could make us think that there are many elements in common between them. And there are, but they are distinguished by their location, function and behavior, so it is important to understand these points in detail:
Location: is one of the main characteristics to differentiate them, since DNA is in the nucleus, and RNA in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. However, things are complicated in prokaryotic cells, since there both are found in the cytoplasm. Therefore, it is essential to know what kind of cells we are talking about.
Cell duplication, transcription and translation: all the steps that make up the cellular reproduction process go through both, but not constantly. While duplication involves DNA and transcription to both acids, translation only works on RNA.
StructureWhile DNA is made up of two strands like a double helix, something we’ve seen on screens many times, RNA has a single, shorter strand, offering an aesthetic that prevents confusion.
Features: while DNA is there for the storage of genetic information, RNA does not take care of that task, or does it very rarely.
NucleotidesAlthough both have nucleotides, they share three of them, adenosine, guanine, and cytosine. Then DNA has thymine, and RNA uracil.
Finally, it is fair to note that, for many decades, it was held that the only mission of the RNA was to copy the information from the DNA. Now we are aware that this is not the case, and that there is something like a necessary complementarity between the two.