Biomolecules- Nucleic Acids

[This post takes 3-5 min to read.]

Hey!

This is a continuation[ish] of the last post on carbs.

I’m gonna do 4 posts for the 4 biomolecules- the last post was on carbs, this one’s on Nucleic Acids, the next two will be on lipids and proteins.

LET’S DO THIS!

What are Nucleic Acids?

Nucleic Acids are DNA- deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA stores genetic information that is to be passed from the parent cell to the daughter cells. DNA is also a blueprint- it codes the amino acid sequences required to make proteins, and proteins are INTEGRAL to stay alive.

Where is DNA found?

DNA- in eukaryotes [every kind of cell excluding viruses and bacteria] is found in the nucleus, floating in the nucleoplasm in the form of chromosomes[which are basically a condensed form of DNA.]

In prokaryotes, [just bacteria. Not even viruses] DNA is just found free-floating in the cytoplasm.

The structure of DNA –>

DNA is a complicated thing, and, like most biomolecules, DNA has a deeper, tinier structure. We’re going to be discussing that in this… subpart? Chapter? Yeah, whatever. Doesn’t make a difference.

  • WHAT DNA IS MADE OF- DNA is made of 3 main things- phosphate groups, the sugar deoxyribose and nucleobases.
  • THE SUGAR-PHOSPHATE BACKBONE- Phosphate groups [in the above image- the capital P enclosed in a circle] make up the backbone of DNA. The sugar deoxyribose [the white pentagons] bonds to the phosphate groups.
  • THE NUCLEOBASES- The nucleobases all bond to the deoxyribose sugar [which is, by the way, a monosaccharide]. There are 4 kinds of nucleobases- adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine, Adenine and thymine can only bond to eachother, where as cytosine and can only bond to eachother. In addition to this- cytosine and guanine bond with 3 hydrogen bonds, whereas adenine and thymine bond with only 2 hydrogen bonds.
  • TYPES OF NUCLEOBASES- There are 2 types of nucleobases- purines and pyrimidines. Pyrimidines are those nucleobases that only have 1 ring-shaped structure. Pyrimidines are cytosine and thymine. Purines like adenine and cytosine have 2 ring-shaped structures.

And, we’re done with the structure! I’M SO PROUD OF US!

Gene editing –>

Gene editing is a very special technology that allows people to add, subtract and alter genes.

One of these technologies is CRISPR-Cas9. This technology was originally inspired from bacteria! When a virus inavdes a bacteria, the bacteria captures snippets of genetic material from it. They use those snippets to create little segments of DNA known as CRISPR arrays. These arrays help the bacteria to sort of remember the virus and closely-related ones. If the viruses attack once more, the bacteria uses the CRISPR arrays to create RNA segments, and the RNA attacks the virus’ DNA/RNA [they can have either one.] The bacteria then uses Cas-9 to cut apart the virus’ DNA/RNA, killing it.

In humans, scientists create a piece of RNA with a matching sequence that binds to a specific segment of DNA. Cas-9 also binds to the RNA. In bacteria, the modified RNA is used to recognize DNA sequence of the virus- so,in this case, the Cas-9 recognizes the sequences of DNA[becuase of the RNA with the matching sequence] and cuts it at the target location. The scientists then manipulate the cell’s own DNA repair machinery to add or delete the required DNA segments.

For this whole process, Cas-9 is used. But, others can be used- like Cpf1.

So, we’re done for today.

Here’s your Space Bonus- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBGQWTEjA-o – about DIAMONDS!

Also- I found a song that sort of relates to this post and really felt the need to enclose a link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UApkru34g4I

It’s a song called DNA by Little Mix, and it ROCKS.

Bye, thank you, and see you in 2 weeks!

Published by science_girrrrrl

:I really love science, and it's my passion. So please, please, please help me by reading, commenting on and publicizing my blog!

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