The Four Nucleotides of DNA

It’s amazing to consider that all the books ever written in the English language are made up of only the 26 letters in the Latin alphabet. Here is something more staggering: DNA is comprised of only 4 “letters”—the 4 molecules containing adenine, cytosine, guanine or thymine—and yet it encodes all the information to build every organism on earth! The famous twisted ladder structure of DNA is the double-stranded helix, with each “rung” made of two paired nucleotides. Nucleotides, which comprise the letters of the DNA alphabet, each consist of three molecules: a sugar, a phosphate group plus adenine, cytosine, guanine, or thymine. The entire molecules are abbreviated A, C, G, or T. In the DNA alphabet, A only pairs with T, and C only pairs with G to form the rungs of the ladder. The sequence of the nucleotides along the length of DNA determines the information encoded, just like the sequence of letters in a book determines what words you read..

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