Virtual Genetics Education Centre

DNA, genes and chromosomes

DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid.  This molecule consists of two long chains of chemicals; nucleotides that twist around each other in a double helix.

  • DNA can be copied or 'replicated' - each strand acts as a template for the generation of the complementary strand. 
  • Each nucleotide contains one of four nitrogen-containing bases: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). 
  • The sequence of these bases constitutes the genetic code - that specifies the order and number of amino acids in a protein.

Diagram of DNA showing the bonding between the corresponding bases e.g. adenine (A) to thymine (T) and guanine (G) to cytosine ©

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