How long does DNA last?

Ian Brandt brandt3 at
Thu Jul 18 15:55:00 EST 1996

I am basically trying to self-teach myself molecular biology so please excuse me if 
this question is overly simple. Will different structures of DNA break down 
eventually in different solutions. If so is the life (I use the word "life" used to 
refer to the time before the molecule breaks down) of the molecule(s) dependent on 
its state (ss, ds, etc.)? Is it also dependent on the solution that it is in? How 
accurately can the expected life of the molecule be determined? Can you provide some 
examples? For instance: dsDNA in an aqueous solution, ssDNA in and aqueous solution, 
etc. I am interested in longevity of the molecule so an example of a condition 
(temperature, solution, etc.)that would promote a long molecular life would also be 
greatly appreciated. 

Thought I do not have very good access to literature on this subject if you know of 
any reading or research that I should also take a look at that would also be 

Thank you for your time.

Ian Brandt
(brandt3 at

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