After studying this unit you should be able to:
define and use each of the terms printed in bold in the text;
understand the properties of nucleotides, how they contribute to secondary and tertiary structures of nucleic acids at the molecular level, and how torsional states are maintained in cellular DNA;
understand the different composition and roles of nucleic acids in the cell and their interactions with each other and with agents that cause DNA damage;
describe the use of nucleic acids as tools in molecular research, including ribozymes, aptamers, antisense and hybridization tools;
understand the function of DNA packaging within the cell and use examples to illustrate how packaging is achieved in various organisms;
describe in detail the protein components of the nucleosome and key modifications to nucleosome components, and understand the interactions between the DNA double helix and the nucleosome;
understand the various chromatin states within the interphase nucleus – their degrees of compaction and the hierarchy of chromatin assembly.