- The two complementary, nitrogen-rich molecules held together by weak chemical bonds. Two strands of DNA are held together in the shape of a double helix by the bonds between their base pairs.
Definition from: Human Genome Project Information
at the U.S. Department of Energy
Two nitrogenous bases paired together in double-stranded DNA by weak bonds;
specific pairing of these bases (adenine with thymine and guanine with cytosine)
facilitates accurate DNA replication; when quantified (e.g., 8 bp), refers
to the physical length of a sequence of nucleotides
Definition from: GeneReviews
from the University of Washington and the National Center for Biotechnology Information
- A base pair is two chemical bases bonded to one another forming a "rung of the DNA ladder." The DNA molecule consists of two strands that wind around each other like a twisted ladder. Each strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (deoxyribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases--adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), or thymine (T). The two strands are held together by hydrogen bonds between the bases, with adenine forming a base pair with thymine, and cytosine forming a base pair with guanine.
Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms from the National Human Genome Research Institute
Related discussion in the Handbook
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.