Importance of the DNA

In every single cell of our body (of all living creatures), the entire blueprint for the respective organism is stored. This blueprint, which is stored in the form of genes, is located in the nucleus of the cell. There it is well protected and separated from the rest of the cell content. It is coded in form of the biomolecule deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Most of the DNA is rolled up, enveloped in proteins and thus inactive. Only the parts of the genetic code, which are needed in the cell at the current time, are “unrolled“ so far that they can be read out.


The DNA molecule can be compared to a coiled rope ladder called double helix. The two lateral cords consist of long chains in which a sugar molecule (deoxyribose) and a phosphoric acid residue (as phosphoric acid ester) alternate. One of the four bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine) is attached to each of the sugar molecules at an almost right angle. The two lateral sugar-phosphate chains are located opposite each other so that the bases are between them and form the rungs of the rope ladder. Adenine always forms a pair with thymine and guanine with cytosine. The bases are linked in the pairs by hydrogen bonds. Adenine and thymine are connected by two hydrogen bonds, guanine and cytosine by three hydrogen bonds.