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16-09-2014_09-00-17 / Уотсон и Крик

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James Watson (L) and Francis Crick (R), and the model they built of the structure of DNA. Image from the Internet.

DNA is a double helix, with bases to the center (like rungs on a ladder) and sugar-phosphate units along the sides of the helix (like the sides of a twisted ladder). The strands are complementary (deduced by Watson and Crick from Chargaff's data, A pairs with T and C pairs with G, the pairs held together by hydrogen bonds). Notice that a double-ringed purine is always bonded to a single ring pyrimidine. Purines are Adenine (A) and Guanine (G). We have encountered Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) before, although in that case the sugar was ribose, whereas in DNA it is deoxyribose. Pyrimidines are Cytosine (C) and Thymine (T). The bases are complementary, with A on one side of the molecule you only get T on the other side, similarly with G and C.

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