The basic structure of a DNA molecule given in a simplistic, yet detailed, form.
The molecule that controls our entire genetic make-up is actually fairly simple. It can be described in three basic parts: sugar, phosphate, and nucleotide.
The sugar in the DNA molecule is deoxyribose. This is a very good explanation as to why its named DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid). The sugar is then bonded with a phosphate group, which will bond it-self with the next sugar. Also, the nucleotide base will bond with the sugar. Thus, the sugar is the backbone of the structure whereas the phosphates could be compared to ligaments.
The nucleotide bases are the basis of our diversity. There are four bases within DNA: cytosine, thymine, adenine, and guanine. These bases will be put in a specific order along the structure. We will get to more about the bases after discussing the molecule as a whole.
The entire molecule is a doulbe helix. That is, it has two thin chains intertwined together. These two chains are connected by the bases. The adenine will combine with the thymine, while the cytosine will combine with the guanine. The chains run in opposite directions. That is, they have specific ends, called 3' (three prime) and 5' (five prime). Therefore, if one is running in the 5' direction, the other will be moving in the 3' direction. The direction of the chains becomes important during transcription and translation.
In conclusion, the DNA molecule is easy to understand, although it can be a bit more difficult understanding how it works.