Sunday, October 3, 2010

Let's Summarize

You now know that atoms : [H]ydrogen, [C]arbon, [N]itrogen, [O]xygen, and their two side kicks [P]hosphorus, and [S]ulfur come together in various combinations to form:

molecules that contain a variety of chemical bonds to form:

our substances: fats {long strings of [C] atoms}, sugars {short strings of [C] atoms, and proteins, [C] atoms combined with [N] atoms.

The proteins then pull together several of their protein buddies forming the nucleotide bases. These nucleotide bases become the alphabet for our DNA. The alphabet consisting only of four letters, A, C, G, T. [In the cytoplasm U is sometimes used.]

Two of these substances, a 5[C]arbon sugar, and the nucleotide bases join up together using a phosphate molecule to form long chains of a helix shaped substance which we now know is "deoxyribosenucleic acid" or DNA! [phosphate + sugar + nitrogenous base].

Words are written three letters at a time which form a "codon". Enough codons lined up in a row that tell the cell what to make is called a "gene". Wow, there you have it, the secret to life.

The drawing to the right is my attempt to represent the basic structure of DNA for those visual learners. Three "ribose" sugars are drawn with their "phospate" backbone. To the right, which would be the inside of the poly(many)nucleotide(nitrogenous bases), shows how the bases attach to the sugars and flap their arms and legs to invite their matching base. More to come.

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