Abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid
, a long molecule that encodes the information needed for a cell
to function or a virus
to replicate. Forms a double-helix shape that resembles a twisted ladder. Different chemicals called bases
, abbreviated as A, C, T, and G, are found on each side of the ladder, or strand
. The bases
have an attraction for each other, making A stick to T while C sticks to G. These rungs of the ladder are called base pairs
. The sequence of these letters is called the genetic code.