Why is DNA a suitable molecule for storing genetic information?Please, pay particular reference to the pairing of nitrogenous bases and their sequence.

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

DNA is a suitable molecule for storing genetic information for many reasons. First of all, the genetic code is universal to all life on earth. There are four different nucleotides, or units of DNA. A nucleotide contains a sugar-deoxyribose, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base.  There are four bases, adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine. DNA is a double helix which means there are two sides to the molecule. To visualize, picture the zipper on your pants. The teeth in the middle interlock much the same way the bases do in DNA. Remember, there are rules for base pairing- Adenine pairs with Thymine and Cytosine with Guanine.

When DNA needs to be copied or replicated, for cell division or for reproduction when producing sex cells, DNA is amazing as it is the only substance on earth that can copy itself. When the strands in the double helix unwind and separate, each side can be used as a template (model) to make another strand. Thus, during DNA replication, one double stranded molecule of DNA when it "unzips" can form two exact double stranded replicas of itself.

Finally, DNA even has the ability to fix any mistakes that may occur during its replication although as an organism ages, this system may not always work correctly and errors or mutations can occur.

In conclusion DNA which makes up our genetic code is the oldest language on earth storing the genetic information for a bacteria all the way to a complex human being.