DNA or Deoxyribonucleic acid is the nucleic acid which contains all the genetic instructions for the functioning of all living organisms.
RNA or Ribonucleic acid is also a nucleic acid which functions as a carrier of genetic information and a catalyst of biochemical reactions.
Some of the important differences are as follows:
1. Structurally the DNA is a double stranded molecule with a long chain of nucleotides while the RNA is a single stranded molecule with a shorter chain of nucleotides.
2. DNA is found in the nucleus while RNA is found in the nucleus and the cytoplasm.
3. Deoxyribose sugar in DNA is less reactive because of C-H bonds. Ribose sugar in RNA is more reactive because of C-OH (hydroxyl bonds).
4. DNA is stable in alkaline conditions, while RNA is not stable in alkaline conditions.
5. The helix geometry of DNA is of B-form while the helix geometry of RNA is of A-form.
6. The DNA is completely protected by the body while RNA strands are continually made, broken down and reused.
7. DNA can be damaged by exposure to ultra violet rays, while RNA is more resistant to damage by ultra violet rays.
The major difference between DNA and RNA consists in the presence in RNA's sugar, of one more combination of oxygen-hydrogen.Because of the fact that RNA molecules can have a greater diversity of nucleic acid bases, they can seize on a large diversity of shapes and various functions, while DNA has only 4 dissimilar nucleic acid bases.