Every living being is made of cells. Each cell contains a central part called the cell’s nucleus, which includes genetic information in a well-mannered way. The nucleus carries information in the form of nucleotides. DNA and RNA are the types of nucleotides which is the chief part of every cell.

Main Difference

DNA is the abbreviation of Deoxyribose nucleic Acid, while RNA is Ribose nucleic acid. There are many structural and functional differences between DNA and RNA. Let us briefly discuss the significant differences between DNA and RNA.

What is DNA?

DNA is the abbreviation of Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid. DNA is the most crucial factor for transforming genetic information from one individual to another. Its first structure was developed by Watson and Crick when they developed its first model through X-Ray diffraction.

The design of DNA is a double helix with a diameter of about 2 nanometers and a top structural part of Chromosomes that contains genetic information in a unique sequence of Nitrogenous bases. The four Nitrogenous bases of DNA are Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, and Guanine.


  • Carries genetic information
  • Part of chromosomes
  • Essential for the survival of every specie
  • Size of about 2 nanometers
  • Visible with an electron microscope

What is RNA?


RNA is the abbreviation of Ribonucleic Acid. It contains ribose sugar. RNA itself is a single-stranded molecule but gives the appearance of a double strand due to the folding back of its single chain. It is also made of four nitrogenous bases: Adenine, Guanine, cytosine, and Uracil. RNA is very crucial for the synthesis of proteins in a living organism. Moreover, RNA has three types: mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA.


  • Important genetic factor
  • Single-stranded
  • Involve in protein synthesis
  • Formed from DNA
  • Double helix in appearance

Key Differences between DNA and RNA

  1. DNA has deoxyribose sugar, while RNA has ribose sugar.
  2. DNA has Thyamine in place of Uracil, as in RNA.
  3. DNA, in contrast to RNA, is not involved in protein synthesis.
  4. DNA formation occurs through the combination of specific nitrogenous bases, while RNA is formed from DNA through a process of Transcription.
  5. DNA is a double-stranded molecule, while RNA is a single-stranded molecule.
  6. DNA has a heredity role, while RNA is involved in protein synthesis.
  7. The amount of DNA is constant in every cell, while the content of RNA is variable.

Comparison Chart of DNA vs. RNA

Feature DNA RNA
Full form Deoxyribo nuvleic acid Ribo Nucleic Acid
Strands Two Single
Nitrogenous bases A T, C, G A, U, C, G
Amount in cell Constant Variable
Role Heredity Protein Synthesis


In a nutshell, we can say that DNA and RNA differ in various aspects. They are different in their structure, function, and chemical composition. They are crucial for the survival of specie.

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