Last Friday, we had another in the series of weird DNA structures. (You can see the first here).
I asked the audience to identify the unusual feature in this molecule. Here’s the first picture:
Here’s the answer:
Steve L. guessed it correctly. This is not just DNA, it’s a DNA:RNA hybrid. I circled a 2′ hydroxyl group here to make it easier to see the difference. (Remember – the “D” in DNA stands for “deoxy.”) The oxygens are red and it’s easiest to tell the difference between the strands if you count them.
For extra credit – where might you find this kind of thing in nature?