RNA is involved in decoding the information in the DNA into a sequence of amino acids in protein molecules. This complex multi-step process will be examined in chapter 7.

The structure of RNA is similar to that of DNA, but it differs in several ways. First, RNA contains the pyrimidine uracil in place of thymine and the sugar ribose in place of deoxyribose (see figures 2.23 and 2.19). Also, whereas DNA is a long, double-stranded helix, RNA is considerably shorter and exists as a single chain of nucleotides that may form short double-stranded stretches as a result of hydrogen bonding between complementary bases in the single strand.

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