nucleic acid

noun
nu·​cle·​ic acid | \ nu̇-ˈklē-ik- How to pronounce nucleic acid (audio) , -ˈklā-, nyu̇- How to pronounce nucleic acid (audio) \

Definition of nucleic acid

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

Examples of nucleic acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Looking past the near term and into the murky future, our ultimate agile defense layer could be built around tiny biochips, which print nucleic acids and then deliver them into our bodies. Andrew Hessel, Ars Technica, "Printing vaccines at the pharmacy or at home will be the way of the future," 20 June 2019 Most of the nucleic acids and sugars that make up DNA and RNA are right-handed, too. Quanta Magazine, "The End of the RNA World Is Near, Biochemists Argue," 19 Dec. 2017 Accelerating vaccine development will require us to innovate new and likely unconventional technologies, such as vectored immunoprophylaxis or nucleic acid vaccines. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 The second was molecular phylogenetics, which allows scientists to compare nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) among different species and thus ascertain evolutionary relationships among them. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘The Tangled Tree’ Review: From Tiny Seeds," 9 Aug. 2018 In 2016, the office issued a Cas9 patent for detecting nucleic acids to Caribou Biosciences in Berkeley, which was co-founded by Doudna as a Crispr tool developer and has also filed Cas12a patents of its own. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "A New Startup Wants to Use Crispr to Diagnose Disease," 26 Apr. 2018 Each technique involves the application of a nucleic acid, specifically DNA or RNA. Andrea Rumbaugh, Houston Chronicle, "World's largest dedicated cell-and-gene-therapy manufacturing facility opens in Pearland," 10 Apr. 2018 The technique as proposed would work because nucleic acids like DNA are promiscuous. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Want to discover truly alien life? Pack a genome sequencer," 23 Mar. 2018 The tools of molecular biology, including nucleic acid sequencing, developed through the latter half of the 20th century, finally helped open the vault on the origins of the 1918 pandemic. Jonathan Runstadler, Scientific American, "Influenza's Wild Origins in the Animals around Us," 11 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nucleic acid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of nucleic acid

1892, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nucleic acid

from their occurrence in cell nuclei

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nucleic acid

Statistics for nucleic acid

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nucleic acid

The first known use of nucleic acid was in 1892

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nucleic acid

nucleic acid

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nucleic acid

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

nucleic acid

noun
nu·​cle·​ic acid | \ n(y)u̇-ˌklē-ik- How to pronounce nucleic acid (audio) , -ˌklā- How to pronounce nucleic acid (audio) \

Medical Definition of nucleic acid

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

More from Merriam-Webster on nucleic acid

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nucleic acid

Comments on nucleic acid

What made you want to look up nucleic acid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!