DNA vs RNA- Definition and 30 Key Differences


DNA and RNA are two types of nucleic acids that store and transmit genetic information in living organisms. They are composed of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of nucleic acids. Nucleotides have three components: a nitrogenous base, a pentose sugar, and a phosphate group.

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is the main genetic material in most living organisms, except for some viruses that use RNA as their genome. DNA is usually double-stranded, meaning that it consists of two complementary strands that are held together by hydrogen bonds between the bases. The two strands have opposite orientations, so they are said to be antiparallel. The sequence of bases on one strand determines the sequence of bases on the other strand, following the base pairing rules: adenine (A) pairs with thymine (T), and cytosine (C) pairs with guanine (G).

RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. It is a single-stranded nucleic acid that can have different functions depending on its type and location. Some types of RNA are involved in protein synthesis, such as messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Other types of RNA are involved in gene regulation, such as microRNA (miRNA), small interfering RNA (siRNA), and long non-coding RNA (lncRNA). Some viruses use RNA as their genetic material, such as retroviruses and coronaviruses.

DNA and RNA have many similarities, but also some key differences that affect their structure and function. In this article, we will explore 30 of these differences and how they relate to the roles of DNA and RNA in living organisms.