Q:

What are the monomers of DNA and RNA?

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Quick Answer

The monomers of DNA and RNA are nucleotides, which are made up of a phosphate group, a five-carbon sugar and a nitrogenous base. In DNA, the nitrogenous bases are adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. In RNA, the nitrogenous bases are adenine, guanine, cytosine and uracil.

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DNA and RNA is a polymer, or macromolecule, made up of many similar smaller molecules covalently bonded together. These smaller molecules are called monomers, and the specific monomers vary depending on the macromolecule (protein, carbohydrates or nucleic acids). Because DNA and RNA are nucleic acids, the monomers that form them are nucleotides, which are molecules made up of a nitrogenous base, a five-carbon sugar and a phosphate group. According to About, these nucleotides are covalently bonded together when the nitrogenous base of one nucleotide corresponds with the nitrogenous base of another nucleotide.

According to How Stuff Works, the four nitrogenous bases fall into two categories: purines and pyrimidines. The purines are double-ringed, and the pyrimidines are single-ringed. When a nucleotide bonds to another nucleotide, a purine base and a pyrimidine base hook up. Adenine pairs up with thymine, and cytosine always pairs up with guanine. After they bond, the nucleotides form the double helix of DNA.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you compare and contrast DNA and RNA?

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    DNA and RNA are somewhat similar organic molecules, both involved in the storage and transfer of genetic information. According to About.com, DNA’s primary function is to store genetic information over the long term, while RNA’s primary function is to transfer this information to the ribosomes, where proteins are made. Because they perform different functions, they have different structures, chemistry and characteristics.

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  • Q:

    What are some similarities between RNA and DNA?

    A:

    RNA and DNA are both molecules containing the genetic information that is necessary for life. Both molecules are composed of nucleotides, which are chemical structures consisting of a sugar, a phosphate and a nitrogenous base. Nucleotides are linked by alternating sugar and phosphate bonds.

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  • Q:

    What are the components of DNA?

    A:

    DNA is a long molecule composed of two chains of smaller molecules called nucleotides, each which contain a region of nitrogen called the nitrogenous base, a carbon-based sugar molecule called deoxyribose and a region of phosphorus called the phosphate group. There are four types of nitrogenous bases: adenine (abbreviated as A), thymine (abbreviated as T), guanine (abbreviated as G) and cytosine (abbreviated as C).

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  • Q:

    How does DNA differ from RNA?

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    DNA is a stable, double helix that functions in long-term storage of genetic material, while RNA is a reactive, single helix that transfers information. There are also slight differences in base pairs between DNA and RNA.

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