What do DNA and RNA Stand for?

DNA and RNA are nucleic acids and macromolecules that work together to preserve and transmit the genetic information that defines all the vital and characteristic elements of each living being.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA in English) is an instruction manual on the construction of life that we know because it defines all living beings equally.

In eukaryotic cells, the DNA is in the nucleus of the cells and its genetic material is duplicated in the form of chromosomes at the time of cell division or mitosis.

In contrast, RNA (ribonucleic acid or RNA in English) has the function of storing, transporting and transmitting the information delivered by DNA in order to synthesize the vital proteins for the development of all the characteristics and functions recorded in the DNA.

Therefore, RNA is a macromolecule that helps DNA in the functions of gene transmission and protein synthesis. They have some differences in their structures and in their composition, for example, the double helix structure of DNA makes it stronger than the simple helix of RNA.

Structure of DNA and RNA

The structure of DNA and RNA is similar. Both are composed of 4 nitrogenous bases: Adenine, Guanine and Cytosine and are differentiated by Thymine in DNA and Uracil in RNA. This difference is what creates the multiplicity of organisms, whether microbes, plants or humans.

The nitrogenous bases are the ones that record the information in the DNA and in the RNA and the association of these allows the transmission of the genes and the instructions to define the function of each proteins. Proteins must be present or active in almost all biological processes and hence their great importance.

Both DNA and RNA are nucleic acids, macromolecules that store or transport cellular information and thus direct the synthesis process of proteins essential for the life of the organism.

Difference between DNA and RNA


DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA in English) is found in the nucleus of all cells of all living organisms. They are found folded in pairs of ‘packages’ called chromosomes.

The amount of chromosomes is specific to each organism. Humans have 23 pairs or 46 chromosomes compared to the Ophioglussum recitulatum fern with 630 pairs or 1260 chromosomes, the plant with the most known chromosomes.

The chromosomes are composed of many genes that are responsible for sending instructions for the proteins start working for formatting and functioning of organisms.


RNA (ribonucleic acid or RNA in English) is a macromolecule that differs in its DNA structure by its nitrogen base Uracil (U), instead of Thymine (T). In addition, its structure is simple helix unlike the double helix of DNA.

RNA differs from DNA by its functions. There are 3 types: messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA).

The messenger RNA has the function of collecting DNA information and carrying it safely to the ribosomes. In the ribosome, the transfer RNA will join with the ribosomal RNA (which is part of the ribosome) to synthesize the proteins according to the instructions delivered.