The substances making up the sides of the DNA ladder are alternating phosphate groups and deoxyribose sugar molecules. Phosphate groups are inorganic molecules made up of one atom of phosphorus chemically bonded to several oxygen atoms. Deoxyribose is a type of sugar featuring five carbon atoms.
A free nucleotide consists of three phosphate groups bonded to deoxyribose, which is then bonded to one of four nucleotide bases: adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine. When a nucleotide is added to a growing DNA strand, two of the phosphate groups are detached, leaving the single phosphate group bonded to the sugar. Deoxyribose sugar is similar to the sugar in ribonucleic acid, or RNA, but it is missing an oxygen atom.Learn More
The shape of a DNA molecule is called a double helix, which looks like a twisting ladder. The "rungs" are made from four nitrogenous bases: adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine. Sugars and phosphate groups are also part of the structure.Full Answer >
A popular science fair project for younger children is to create a model of DNA using candy. To make this project, you need red licorice, black licorice, four different types of gummy candies, a needle, thread and toothpicks.Full Answer >
The University of Illinois at Chicago explains that DNA must replicate itself so that during cell division, both daughter cells receive the same genetic information. DNA replication is necessary during the process by which somatic cells divide, called mitosis, as well as during meiosis, the process by which organisms produce gametes, or sex cells.Full Answer >
The elements of nucleic acids are phosphate groups, sugar molecules and nitrogenous bases; together, these elements make up the building blocks of nucleic acids: nucleotides. Two types of nucleic acids are found in organisms: deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid.Full Answer >