Difference between DNA and RNA

What are the major differences between DNA and RNA?

DNA and RNA are two types of genetic material that are found in all living organisms.

The main difference is DNA is the genetic material that contains the genetic code for an organism while RNA is the genetic material that carries out the instructions of the DNA code.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are DNA and RNA:

  • DNA: DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid, is the genetic material that contains the genetic code for an organism. It is a double-stranded helix made up of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA.
  • RNA: RNA, short for ribonucleic acid, is the genetic material that carries out the instructions of the DNA code. It is a single-stranded molecule made up of nucleotides, which are similar to those found in DNA.

DNA vs RNA

Now, let’s move to DNA vs RNA:

Major differences between DNA and RNA

DNA RNA
DNA is the genetic material that contains the genetic code for an organism. RNA is the genetic material that carries out the instructions of the DNA code.
DNA is a double-stranded helix. RNA is a single-stranded molecule.
The nucleotides in DNA are composed of a sugar called deoxyribose. The nucleotides in RNA are composed of a sugar called ribose.
DNA is found in the nucleus of a cell. RNA is found in the nucleus and cytoplasm of a cell.
DNA is responsible for storing and passing on genetic information to offspring. RNA is responsible for translating the genetic code into proteins.

That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between DNA and RNA”.

Also see:

Final words

DNA and RNA are two types of genetic material that are found in all living organisms.

Understanding the key differences between the two, such as the fact that DNA is the genetic material that contains the genetic code for an organism, while RNA is the genetic material that carries out the instructions of the DNA code, is essential for understanding genetics and molecular biology

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