Chapter 4
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Chapter 4. Nucleic Acids and the RNA World. Key Concepts. Nucleotides consist of a sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogen-containing base. Ribonucleotides polymerize to form RNA. Deoxyribonucleotides polymerize to form DNA.

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Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Nucleic Acids and the RNA World


Key concepts

Key Concepts

  • Nucleotides consist of a sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogen-containing base. Ribonucleotides polymerize to form RNA. Deoxyribonucleotides polymerize to form DNA.

  • DNA’s primary structure consists of a sequence of nitrogen-containing bases. Its secondary structure consists of two DNA strands, running in opposite directions, that are held together by complementary base pairing and twisted into a double helix. DNA structure allows organisms to store and replicate the information needed to grow and reproduce.


Key concepts cont d

Key Concepts, cont’d

  • RNA’s primary structure consists of a sequence of nitrogen-containing bases. Its secondary structure includes short regions of double helices and structures called hairpins.

  • Because RNA molecules can carry information as well as catalyze chemical reactions, it is likely that RNA was the first self-replicating molecule and a forerunner to the first life-form.


Dna structure

DNA Structure

http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0073383198/student_view0/chapter2/animation_quiz_-_dna_structure.html


Rna structure the origin of life

RNA Structure & the Origin of Life

http://www.nature.com/scitable/content/rna-has-a-primary-and-secondary-structure-105312

http://exploringorigins.org/rnaworld.html


Website questions

Website Questions

(send questions to [email protected])

1. Describe 3 structural differences between DNA and RNA.

2. Describe 1 functional difference between DNA and RNA.

3. What is a ribozyme? How is it similar AND different than an enzyme?

4. Why do scientists say that RNA was important in the creation of life on earth?


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