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I am confused... People usually say that "DNA" is made of two strands deoxyribonucleic acid bound together. Nonetheless, the acronym "DNA" means "deoxyribonucleic acid".

So by logic, a molecule of "DNA" should be only made of one strand of deoxyribonucleic acid, and not two! Right?

This is really confusing...

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marked as duplicate by Charles, Remi.b, canadianer, mgkrebbs, David Nov 14 '17 at 14:09

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DNA as we think of it is double stranded in its native (normal) state, so when we say "a molecule of DNA" we mean the standard, double stranded helix found in our cells. DNA is unstable as a single stranded molecule, so when saying "one molecule of DNA" it refers to the double stranded helix that DNA forms as this is the most common stable form. :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok... So "one molecule of DNA" is made of two deoxyribonucleic acids, right? Even though "DNA" is an acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid, the number of deoxyribonucleic acids that makes up "one molecule of DNA" is not specified when saying the word "DNA". Am I correct on that? $\endgroup$ – Mark Nov 14 '17 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. "One molecule of DNA" encompasses 2 strands in a double helix shape. $\endgroup$ – Kelsey Nov 14 '17 at 16:39
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You are thinking about a nucleotide (A, C, G, or T). Nucleotides are molecules, and are the building blocks of DNA. DNA is synthesized from existing copies (not de novo), so there is always one strand, from which nucleotides are added to in a 3'-5' direction.

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    $\begingroup$ Uh no that's not what he was thinking about... $\endgroup$ – Unicorn13601 Nov 14 '17 at 1:13

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