RNA structure – Genes – the units of inheritance (9/10)
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RNA structure – Genes – the units of inheritance (9/10)

To understand how a working copy
of the gene is made, we need to be familiar with the
structure of RNA. Unlike DNA, RNA is just a single strand
of nucleotide units. In DNA,
the sugar is deoxyribose, in RNA, it’s ribose. As for the basis,
although three or identical, Adenine, Guanine,
and Cytosine, the Thymine in DNA is replaced
by Uracil in RNA. Uracil is very similar to Thymine. It always pairs with Adenine, that is,
it obeys the same base pairing rules. Okay, so specific base pairing
has cropped up again. You’ve already seen how important it is
in the structure of DNA and the replication of DNA, and now you’ll see how vital it is in the
production of messenger RNA, in a process known as transcription. When transcription starts,
a small section of DNA is unwound. One of the two unwound strands acts
as a template for making the message. The messenger RNA is built up,
one nucleotide at a time, according to the familiar base
pairing rules. A in the DNA pairs with U on the RNA. G pairs with C, T pairs with A,
and so on. The result, a message with a base
sequence complementary to the template strand of the DNA. This messenger RNA will eventually be
used to direct the formation of a protein.

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