This Domain May be Avaliable for Lease or Joint Venture!
Get Adobe Flash player  
dna sequencing company dna sequencing services
DNA Nucleotides

DNA nucleotides are the small repeating units that, joined together by the millions into a long spiral ladder shape, form the DNA strand, also called a DNA molecule or double helix or, simply, DNA. But what exactly are DNA nucleotides and why are they important to DNA sequencing?

Each nucleotide segment in a DNA strand is actually a pair of nucleotides, but is commonly called, collectively, a nucleotide, for ease of use. I'll describe this breakdown visually again so you can see a clear picture: if you take a DNA strand and cut it crosswise so that you now have one rung' with a short section of pole on either side, you'll have a single unit that looks like a capital 'H'; each of those side poles is a short section of what is called the DNA Backbone, and the horizontal rung joining them in the middle is called a Base. We'll separate and discuss the backbones and the bases on the next two pages.

First, this single H shape, though generally called a nucleotide, is actually a PAIR of nucleotides, joined in the middle. If you take that H shape and cut the rung (base) in the middle, you are now left with two pieces, each looking like a capital T turned on its side. NOW you have a single nucleotide. Let's take that single DNA nucleotide and zoom in for yet a closer look.

That single piece of DNA nucleotide is made up of two parts. For visual clarity let's keep looking at it as a sideways T, with the vertical bar being a part of backbone and the horizontal part being the base, the half-rung of the ladder. That's all we need to cover for this page; remember, I'm taking you smaller and smaller, we've cut it down like this so far: the long strand of DNA you see in pictures is shaped as a double helix, actually two long helixes joined down the middle by their half-rungs; if you take that double helix and cut out a single section of it, with one rung and a short section of each backbone, you have a section of the DNA strand known as a nucleotide in general language, and it looks like a capital H. Technically you slice that H in half so it now looks like two capital T's turned sideways. Each of these T's is called, correctly, a single nucleotide.

Now we take a nucleotide and take it apart: we take the half-rung of the ladder, called a base, apart from the side if the ladder, the backbone. Just a few words on each, in the next two pages.