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In a DNA molecule, the pyrimidines are thymine and cytosine, the purines are adenine and guanine. The DNA backbone is resistant to cleavage, and both strands of the double-stranded structure store the same biological information.
This information is replicated as and when the two strands separate.
Both chains are coiled round the same axis, and have the same pitch of 34 ångströms (3.4 nanometres).
DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are nucleic acids; alongside proteins, lipids and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), they are one of the four major types of macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life.
Most DNA molecules consist of two biopolymer strands coiled around each other to form a double helix.
The two DNA strands are called polynucleotides since they are composed of simpler monomer units called nucleotides.
Among notable advances in this field are DNA origami and DNA-based hybrid materials.
In all species it is composed of two helical chains, bound to each other by hydrogen bonds.