Definition for the Organic Chemistry of DNA as Salt
Why the Dust of DNA is Also Classified as a Salt
DNA is scientifically classifed as dust. But how is it that it can also be classified as an organic salt? The Organic Chemistry behind that answer is listed below.
In 1953 James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins published a paper titled “A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid [DNA].” The first sentence in the article is significant. It informs us that DNA is a biological salt. The report, published in Nature magazine, includes commentary by Tom Zinnen. Through his analysis, we can better understand the chemistry by which this is so.
According to Zinnen, after losing positively charged hydrogen ions (an ion is any particle, e.g., atom, molecule, etc., which has a net negative or positive electrical charge), DNA phosphates (phosphate and sugar comprise the backbone of the DNA double helix — the handrails of the spiral staircase of the double helix) become negatively charged. Consequently, they bind to a cation (a positively charged ion) to achieve electrical neutrality–usually, but not limited to, Na+ (sodium) or K+ (potassium). That makes the DNA polymer a “salt” of [Na+] x [DNA-] (sodium phosphate) or [K+] x [DNA-] (potassium phosphate). Physicists Perepelytsya and Volkov describe DNA as a salt of alkali. Russian scientist Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetskii in his book, Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life, tells us DNA, despite being called an acid, is a salt. He further states that calling it acid is an error of the highest magnitude. It could be compared to the error by referring to ordinary table salt as hydrochloric acid.
Under what circumstances does biological dust also qualify as a biological salt? It occurs when an ion of acid bonds with an ion of alkali metal. For example, in DNA, the minerals sodium and potassium, which are both ions of alkali metals, bond with the DNA backbone (the two sides of the double helix spiral ladder. The two sides of the biological ladder are composed of a phosphate group ... a derivative of phosphoric acid ... bonded with 5-carbon sugar). This hydrogen bonding makes DNA an organic salt — a salt also classified as dust.
If you want a more detailed account of what salt means in the Bible, go here. If you wish to view a list of all articles and blogs, go here.
. J. D. Watson, Crick, F. H. C., with commentary by Tom Zinnen, “A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid,” Nature (Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum) 171,737 1953 (April 1953).
. cf. James D. Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (New York, NY: Touchstone, 2001), 80, 88, 160, 204.
. S. M. Perepelytsya and S. N. Volkov, “Counterion vibrations in the DNA low-frequency spectra,” The European Physical Journal E-Soft Matter (Spinger Berlin / Heidelberg) 24, 3 (November, 2007).
. Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetskii, Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life trans. Lev Liapin, Revised ed., (Reading, MA: Perseus Publishing, 1997), 60.
. Note: an ion is an atom or molecule that has a net electrical charge, either negative or positive.
. Yinon Bentor, “Periodic Table: Sodium”, in Chemical Element.com, http://www.chemicalelements.com/elements/na.html (accessed 10/11/2011).
. “Phosphate Group,” Biology Dictionary, https://biologydictionary.net/phosphate-group/, accessed 8/8/2019.