DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the nucleic acid polymer that forms the genetic code for a cell or virus. Most DNA molecules consist of two polymers (double-stranded) of four nucleotides that each consist of a nucleobase, the carbohydrate deoxyribose and a phosphate group, where the carbohydrate and phosphate make up the backbone of the polymer.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Understanding the biological roles of modifications to DNA, RNA and proteins is critical to revealing how cells regulate gene expression in development and disease. Two papers now present a combination of new tools and discoveries that could enable biologists and chemical biologists to better study epigenetic regulation in mammals.

    • Bryan T. Harada
    •  & Chuan He
    Nature Chemistry 9, 1040–1042
  • Editorial |

    A detailed picture of how DNA is copied and modified comes from a molecular-level understanding of DNA and the enzymes that process it. Why is DNA not always copied correctly, and what happens when its bases are modified?

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Controversy surrounds the perceived absence of a relationship between DNA polymerase fidelity (kinetic discrimination) and free energy changes determined from DNA melting studies (thermodynamic discrimination). Thermodynamic discrimination together with aqueous solvent effects can account for kinetic fidelities on the order of those observed experimentally.

    • John Petruska
    •  & Myron F. Goodman
  • News and Views |

    A quantitative understanding of the functional landscape of a biochemical circuit can reveal the design rules required to optimize the circuit. Now, a high-throughput droplet-based microfluidic platform has been developed which enables high-resolution mapping of bifurcation diagrams for two nonlinear DNA networks.

    • Fei Wang
    •  & Chunhai Fan
    Nature Chemistry 8, 738–740