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Nucleic Acids: A crash course. Nucleic Acids. Made of the elements C, H, O, N, and P. DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid RNA Ribonucleic Acid Task 1: a. Create a simple way to remember the names of each. Write it down.

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nucleic acids
Nucleic Acids
  • Made of the elements C, H, O, N, and P.
      • DNA
        • Deoxyribonucleic acid
      • RNA
        • Ribonucleic Acid

Task 1: a. Create a simple way to remember the names of each. Write it down.

b. Compare and contrast the elements in nucleic acids with the other organic molecules.

nucleic acids basic structure is a nucleotide
Nucleic Acids: Basic structure is a nucleotide
  • Phosphate Group
  • Sugar (5-carbon sugar) pentose
  • A Nitrogen Base (only one base)
    • Adenine (A)
    • Thymine (T) (only in DNA)
    • Cytosine (C)
    • Guanine (G)
    • Uracil (U) (only in RNA)

Phosphate group

Task 2: a. Examine the structure given above. Differentiate between the two nucleotides and explain what the variable factor is.

b. Pyrimidines are the bases with “y’s” in their name. Purines do not have any “y’s” in their name. Recall and list the nitrogen bases that will be a pyrimidine or purine.


Nitrogen bases:

  • Pyrimidines:
    • Thymine and Cytosine
  • Purines
    • Adenine and Guanine
structure continued
Structure Continued:
  • DNA is double stranded
    • Called a double helix
    • Deoxyribose sugar
  • RNA is single stranded
    • Ribose sugar
    • No Thymine, Uracil takes its place.
making a dna molecule
Making a DNA molecule
  • Each strand “complimentary base pairs” to the other side.
  • Adenine (A) bonds with Thymine (T)
  • Guanine (G) bonds with Cytosine (C)

Task 3:

a. Create a rhyme to remember the complimentary base pairing rules. (make it a maximum of 25 lines) **Incorporate structures of a nucleotide or anything previously mentioned about structure.

b. Research and analyze Chargaff’s rule and discuss how it would relate to the rule of complimentary base pairing. Google Search


Task 4: a. Interpret why Adenine can only bond with Thymine and Guanine can only bond with Cytosine. Describe what would happen if Cytosine tried to bond to Thymine.

b. Research and analyze the strength of a hydrogen bond compared to ionic bonds and covalent bonds. Discuss what part of a DNA molecule is weakest and most easily separated or “broken”.

  • DNA is found in all cells
  • DNA- contains your genotype- or all your genes (it’s like your blue print for life)
    • Genotype is “translated” to make proteins

RNA helps “translate” information into proteins

    • Basically, RNA is needed to read the DNA.
  • If the DNA gets damaged, your cell will not be able to make its correct proteins.

Task 5: a. Develop a set of steps that would be needed to make a an enzyme. Consider an enzymes specific structure and consider the function of DNA.

b. Research information on things that can damage DNA and create a list of 8 possible items.

  • RNA not found in some lower life forms: bacteria, other single celled organisms.
  • Retroviruses (HIV): have only RNA (but are not alive)
hydrolysis and dehydration synthesis
Hydrolysis and Dehydration Synthesis
  • Breaking apart or linking together nucleotides (respectively)
  • Crucial enzymes are needed. (we’ll learn them later)

Complete the Graphic organizer on DNA and RNA (handout)

  • Read the Article that deals with DNA and Cattle, appearing next on the wikispace. Answer the questions on a separate piece of paper and turn in.