Lecture 1.5: The Molecules of Life — Nucleic Acid Polarity | Summary and Q&A

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August 21, 2020
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Lecture 1.5: The Molecules of Life — Nucleic Acid Polarity

TL;DR

Macromolecules like nucleic acids and proteins carry essential information for cells through their order, polarity, and direction.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do macromolecules carry information?

Macromolecules carry information due to their distinct ends and directionality, which allow cells to use the molecule's order and polarity for coding essential information.

Q: What are examples of macromolecules that carry information?

Nucleic acids and proteins are two classes of macromolecules that carry information. Nucleic acids hold genetic information, while proteins carry information related to various cellular functions.

Q: What is the significance of the 5 prime and 3 prime ends in nucleic acid polymers?

The 5 prime and 3 prime ends of nucleic acid polymers are chemically different and help determine the directionality and coding of information within the molecule.

Q: How is the base order important in nucleic acids?

The base order along the nucleic acid polymer, from 5 prime to 3 prime, is crucial for information coding. It determines the sequence of bases, which ultimately determines the specific genetic information carried by the molecule.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Macromolecules contain valuable information because of their distinct ends and directionality, similar to languages.

  • Nucleic acids and proteins are excellent examples of macromolecules that carry genetic and other essential information, respectively.

  • Nucleic acid polymers have a phosphate-sugar backbone with a 5 prime and 3 prime end, and the base order along the polymer is crucial for information coding.

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