Similarities between DNA and RNA:
1. DNA and RNA are both nucleic acids.
2. DNA and RNA are both macromolecules, polymers made up of repeating units or monomers.
3. The monomers of both DNA and RNA are a combination of a nucleotide, a sugar, and a phosphate group.
4. Both DNA and RNA can store hereditary information.
5. Both DNA and RNA can undergo change, or mutation.
6. Both DNA and RNA are replicated before a cell divides, so that each cell gets a copy.
7. In both DNA and some RNA, the sequence of nucleotides constitutes the instructions for the sequence of amino acids used in synthesizing a protein.
8. In eukaryotic cells, both DNA and RNA are found both inside and outside the nucleus.
9. Both DNA and RNA can be cut by restriction enzymes.
10. Both DNA and RNA contain the nucleotides adenine, cytosine, and guanine.
Differences between DNA and RNA:
1. The sugar in RNA is ribose while in DNA it is deoxyribose.
2. DNA contains the nucleotide thymine, while RNA contains uracil and no thymine.
3. The DNA that stores and transmits hereditary information in eukaryotes is double-stranded, while RNA is always single-stranded.
4. DNA fulfills the functions of storing and transmitting hereditary information and supplying the instructions for protein synthesis, while RNA can fulfill other functions as well, such as messenger RNA and transfer RNA.
5. All living things (including cellular life) contain RNA but not all have DNA.
6. Meiosis is a mechanism for redistributing DNA as part of sexual reproduction. There is no analogue using RNA.
7. In eukaryotic cells, DNA and RNA are found in different locations. The DNA that stores and transmits the organism’s hereditary information is located in the nucleus, while certain organelles (mitochondria and chloroplasts) have their own DNA. RNA is found in different specific locations. Transfer RNA is found in the cytoplasm, ribosomal RNA is found in the ribosomes, and messenger RNA is synthesized in the nucleus and moves out of the nucleus to the ribosomes.
8. DNA, but not RNA, can undergo the process of crossing over during meiosis.
9. Many restriction enzymes are specific to double-stranded DNA and will not cut RNA.
10. DNA, because it contains deoxyribose instead of ribose, is more stable with respect to chemical reactions than RNA.