Chemistry and the Structure of DNA Essay

Chemistry and the Structure of DNA Essay

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Genetics relies on chemistry to explain phenomena related to the field. The structure of DNA relies on chemistry. In fact, when James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA, they did so by building models based on the laws of chemistry. Chemistry also relates heavily to the structure and function of one of the main products of DNA: protein.
Chemistry dictates the structure of DNA. DNA is a polymer of monomers called nucleic acids. These are made of a nitrogenous base, a phosphate group and a sugar. It is the negative charge on the phosphate group that makes DNA an acid. There are 4 different bases: adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine. In groups of three, these four bases can code for any protein coded for in an organism’s genome. Two strands of nucleic acids stack on top of each other in a double helix. The backbone of the nucleic acids consists of the interaction between phosphate groups and the hydroxide groups of nucleic acids. These are held together by covalent bonds called phosphodiester bonds. The helix itself is held together by hydrogen bonds. Although h...

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