Both DNA and RNA carry genetic information. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid and RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. Following are the differences between DNA and RNA
- DNA contains the sugar deoxyribose and RNA contains sugar ribose. Ribose has one more- OH group than deoxyribose.
- DNA is a double stranded molecule. It is a B-form double helix. It contains a long chain of nucleotides.RNA is a single strand molecule. It is A-form helix. It has shorter forms of nucleotides.
- DNA is stable under alkaline conditions. The C-H bonds in DNA make it stable to an extent and the body destroys the enzymes that would attack DNA.The small grooves in the helix serve as protection by providing minimal space for enzymes to attach. RNA is not stable under alkaline conditions. The O-H bond in the ribose of RNA makes the molecule more reactive than in the case of DNA. The large grooves in the molecule make it susceptible to the attack of the enzymes.RNA is produced, used, degraded and recycled in a constant manner.
- The functions of DNA and RNA are different.DNA has long term storage of genetic information and transfers genetic information. It transmits genetic information to make other cells and new organisms. RNA codes directly for amino acids. It is the messenger between DNA and ribosomes for making proteins.RNA transmits genetic information in some organisms and can be the molecule for storing genetic blueprints in primitive organisms.
- DNA uses the bases adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. RNA uses the bases adenine, uracil, cytosine and guanine. The difference between uracil and thymine is that uracil does not have a methyl group on its ring.
- DNA replicates self.RNA is synthesized from DNA whenever there is need.
- While DNA is susceptible to UV damage, RNA is relatively resistant to UV damage.
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Types of RNA
There are basically three types of RNA-mRNA, rRNA and tRNA.
- mRNA (Messenger RNA): mRNA transfers the genetic information from nucleus to the cytoplasm of a cell. It transcribes the genetic code from DNA into a form that can be read and used for making proteins.
- rRNA (Ribosomal RNA): rRNA is found in the cytoplasm of a cell where ribosomes are found.rRNA directs the translation of mRNA into proteins.
- tRNA (Transfer RNA):Like rRNA, tRNA is located in the cytoplasm of a cell and it is involved in the synthesis of protein.tRNA transfers or brings amino acids to the ribosome that correspond to each three –nucleotide codon of rRNA.The amino acids are joined together for processing polypeptides and proteins.
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