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Name Class Date 12.2 The Structure of DNA Lesson Summary The Components of DNA DNA is a nucleic acid made up of nucleotides joined into long strands or chains by covalent bonds. Nucleotides may be joined in any order. A DNA nucleotide is a unit made of a nitrogenous base, a 5-carbon sugar called deoxyribose, and a phosphate group. DNA has four kinds of nitrogenous bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine. Solving the Structure of DNA Erwin Chargaff showed that the percentages of adenine and thymine are almost always equal in DNA. The percentages of guanine and cytosine are also almost equal. Rosalind Franklin’s X-ray diffraction studies revealed the double-helix structure of DNA. James Watson and Francis Crick built a model that explained the structure of DNA. The Double-Helix Model The double-helix model explains Chargaff’s rule of base pairing and how the two strands of DNA are held together. The model showed the following:
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