If you’ve watched any American crime drama or criminal court sessions, then you’ve probably encountered the phage DNA. Its basically fulcrum of modern day forensics. To most of the populous, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is simply known as the unique chemical identifier of the body, which all animals have.
Chances are you probably first saw the famous twisted ladder model of DNA, at an Elementary School science fair and were fascinated by its colors and ladders. But what are the sides of the DNA ladder made of?
To solve this Rubic Cube, we need to understand what DNA is full. Well, in layman terms, DNA is a protein found in the nucleus of a cell which contains coded genetic information. Considered by scientist as the body blueprint, its found in every living organism on the planet.
It basically contains control instructions, think of it as the Intel microchip in your PC, through chemical and coded form from cell to cell.
To simplify the context, found in the nucleus, DNA facilitates and regulating making enzymes and proteins, carries information for cell division and relays this same information from parental organisms to offspring. So this could explain why DNA is called protein and a nucleic acid.
It’s noteworthy that in terms of heredity, genes and chromosomes are totally made of DNA.
So now we understand basic foundations, what are the sides of DNA made of?
The DNA shape is popularly referred to as a spiral stairway, twisted ladder though mainly as a double helix. This is because it mimics a ladder when turned straight and unspiralled. The steps of the ladders are known as rungs and are 4 in particular.
These four rungs are chemically bonded together and are called nucleotides or nitrogen bases. The nucleotides compose chemicals which are: deoxyribose (a sugar) and phosphate.
Since we made the ladder straight, we can proceed now can learn that the sides of the ladder are alternating deoxyribose sugar and phosphate molecules giving it the chain like linkage. These can be identified as the two backbones to this ladder.
The two sides of a DNA ladder are also held together loosely by hydrogen bonds. So DNA is a unique pattern of four different nucleotides/rungs chemically bonded on one end to a phosphate group and on the other to a nitrogen base.
DNA is a unique pattern of four different nucleotides/rungs chemically bonded on one end to a phosphate group.
The four nucleotides famously known as adenine, cytosine, thymine, and guanine are abbreviated by the first letters in scientific circles. So these individuals are the four types of stairs we see on the DNA spiral stairway or double helix.
Ironically these nucleotides don’t just pair randomly with one another, everything is predetermined chemically. Adenine will only pair with thymine while Guanine pairs with cytosine.
This structure of complementary pairing plays significant roles in DNA functioning and sequencing since it eases identification. Also called Base pairing, it also enables reproduction of the DNA.
We also notice that 2 spiral sides of the DNA have large spiral openings between, this is simply to enable them to be accessed by other important body chemicals. Incredibly this structure of DNA is repeated billions or trillions of times throughout the genome.
So in a snippet, the sides of the DNA ladder which give us a spiral staircase illusion are mainly made of a combination of nucleotides known as adenine, cytosine, thymine, and guanine which are based on a chemical structure of deoxyribose sugar and phosphate.