Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. 

DNA is a nucleic acid; alongside proteins and carbohydrates, nucleic acids compose the three major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life. 

Most DNA molecules consist of two biopolymer strands coiled around each other to form a double helix. 

The structure of the DNA double helix. The atoms in the structure are colour-coded by element and the detailed structure of two base pairs are shown in the bottom right. image: wikipedia

The two DNA strands are known as polynucleotides since they are composed of simpler units called nucleotides. 

Each nucleotide is composed of a nitrogen-containing nucleobase—either guanine (G), adenine (A), thymine (T), or cytosine (C)—as well as a monosaccharide sugar called deoxyribose and a phosphate group. 

The nucleotides are joined to one another in a chain by covalent bonds between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next, resulting in an alternating sugar-phosphate backbone. 

According to base pairing rules (A with T and C with G), hydrogen bonds bind the nitrogenous bases of the two separate polynucleotide strands to make double-stranded DNA.

Further information and sections:

Cultural aspects of DNA


The culture of DNA is really about the history of the discovery and how the discovery of …

Technology of DNA

Methods have been developed to purify DNA from organisms, such as phenol-chloroform extraction, …

Natural aspects of DNA

This deals with the properties and physical nature of DNA.

DNA is a long polymer made from …

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA