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DNA Structure

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The four nitrogenous bases of DNA are arranged along the sugar- phosphate backbone in a particular order (the DNA sequence), encoding all genetic instructions for an organism. Adenine (A) pairs with thymine (T), while cytosine (C) pairs with guanine (G). The two DNA strands are held together by weak bonds between the bases. A gene is a segment of a DNA molecule (ranging from fewer than 1 thousand bases to several million), located in a particular position on a specific chromosome, whose base sequence contains the information necessary for protein synthesis.

Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.


Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Genomics and Its Impact on Science and Society: A 2008 Primer, 2008. (Original version 1992, revised 2001 and 2008.) (website)

Prepared by the Biological and Environmental Research Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and