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Organic compound of the pyrimidine family, often called a base, consisting of a ring containing both nitrogen and carbon atoms, and a methyl group. It occurs in combined form in many important biological molecules, particularly DNA (where its complementary base is adenine). It or its corresponding nucleoside or nucleotide may be prepared from DNA by selective techniques of hydrolysis.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on thymine, visit Britannica.com.