nucleic acid


nu·cle·ic acid

noun \n-ˈklē-ik-, -ˈklā-, ny-\

: any of various acids (such as DNA or RNA) that are found in living cells

Full Definition of NUCLEIC ACID

:  any of various complex organic acids (as DNA or RNA) that are composed of nucleotide chains


from their occurrence in cell nuclei
First Known Use: 1892

nu·cle·ic acid

noun \n(y)-ˌklē-ik-, -ˌklā-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of NUCLEIC ACID

: any of various acids (as an RNA or a DNA) composed of nucleotide chains

nucleic acid

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of the naturally occurring chemical compounds that are capable of being broken down to yield phosphoric acid, sugars, and a mixture of organic bases (purines and pyrimidines). Nucleic acids direct the course of protein synthesis, thereby regulating all cell activities. The two main types, DNA and RNA, are composed of similar materials but differ in structure and function. Both are long chains of repeating nucleotides. The sequence of purines and pyrimidines (bases)—adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and either thymine (T; in DNA) or uracil (U; in RNA)—in the nucleotides, in groups of three (triplets, or codons), constitutes the genetic code.


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