What are the three main differences between DNA and RNA?

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megamind-616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Several differences between RNA and DNA are identified below:

1. The type of sugar within each. 

DNA stands for deoxyribose nucleic acid. Deoxyribose is the sugar that is a part of the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA. RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. Ribose is the sugar within RNA.

2. Type of nucleic acids found within each.

DNA contains adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). RNA also contains adenine, guanine, and cytosine. However, the thymine of DNA is swapped for uracil (U) in RNA.

3. Location

DNA is housed within the nucleus. RNA travels through the nuclear pores of the nucleus and moves into the cell's cytoplasm. 

4. Number of strands

DNA is double stranded whereas RNA is mad of a single strand. 

5. Shape

DNA is a double helix whereas RNA is not. 


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