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2. Nucleic Acids, DNA and RNA

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In this mini-lecture we turn to nucleic acids, biomolecules that make up the genome and transcriptome. We first ask where we can find nucleic acids in nature and in modern science. We then look at the polymeric structure of DNA, the functional groups and nitrogenous bases involved and how this structure allows it to store genetic information in the cell. Next, we see how a polymer strand of DNA forms from its monomer units chemically, and then moving on to see how DNA can exist as a double helix, how two strands are stably linked together. Finally we look at an anti-cancer drug, cis-platin, and how this molecule interferes with DNA replication, thus preventing the growth and development of cancerous cells.


In this course Prof. Sabine Flitsch (University of Manchester) introduces biomolecules. What do we mean when we say ‘biomolecule’, and what kinds of biomolecules exist? Modern research spans biomolecules of all sorts, and we introduce: (i) the classes of biomolecules that make up an organism in order of hierarchy; the genome, the transcriptome, the proteome, and the metabolome; (ii) the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, their structure and function and uses in medicine and biotechnology; (iii) the structure and function of proteins and their building blocks, amino acids; and (iv) sugars, looking some of at their monomeric structures, as well as learning about their polymers.


Prof. Sabine Flitsch is a Professor of Chemistry and Chair of Chemical Biology at the University of Manchester. Her research group is housed in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Her research interests are in glycosciences, biocatalysis, and protein-ligand interactions. Most recently, she has started to use biocatalysts on substrates attached to the solid phase, which are of interest in high-throughput chemical synthesis and biological analysis. For her work, she has won the RSC Interdisciplinary Prize, the Zeneca Research Award and the Glaxo Wellcome award for Innovative Chemistry.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Flitsch, S. (2022, January 12). Biomolecules - Nucleic Acids, DNA and RNA [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Flitsch, Sabine. "Biomolecules – Nucleic Acids, DNA and RNA." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 Jan 2022,

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