DNA vs RNA: Differences in form and function

DNA and RNA are similar molecules but have small, very important differences. These differences allow them to serve distinct functions in the cell.


In biology it’s often said that form equals function, or more accurately, form allows for function. The form of your front teeth, for example, allows them to function as food chopping tools, while the form of your molars allows them to function as food smashing tools. Similar connections between form and function can be found all the way down to the level of molecules like DNA and RNA

Teaching Tools

This video comes with a study guide for students and slides for teachers to use in their classroom

Special thanks for Dr. Anthony Pool for helping edit this script and answer questions during production.

Huge thanks to TE AO MĀRAMA, Centre for Fundamental Inquiry. They, along with our patrons, funded the production of this animation.

Explore Further:


Our videos benefit from guidance and advice provided by experts in science and education. This animation is the result of collaboration between the following scientists, educators, and our team of creatives.

  • Jon Perry
  • Tyler Proctor