Definition of Nucleic acid

1. Noun. (biochemistry) any of various macromolecules composed of nucleotide chains that are vital constituents of all living cells.

Category relationships: Biochemistry
Group relationships: Deoxyribonucleic Acid, Desoxyribonucleic Acid, Dna, Ribonucleic Acid, Rna
Generic synonyms: Macromolecule, Supermolecule

Definition of Nucleic acid

1. Noun. (context: biochemistry genetics) Any acidic, chainlike biological macromolecule consisting of multiply repeat units of phosphoric acid, sugar and purine and pyrimidine bases; they are involved in the preservation, replication and expression of hereditary information in every living cell ¹

¹ Source:

Medical Definition of Nucleic acid

1. Linear polymers of nucleotides, linked by 3', 5' phosphodiester linkages. In DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, the sugar group is deoxyribose and the bases of the nucleotides adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine. RNA, ribonucleic acid, has ribose as the sugar and uracil replaces thymine. DNA functions as a stable repository of genetic information in the form of base sequence. RNA has a similar function in some viruses but more usually serves as an informational intermediate (mRNA), a transporter of amino acids (tRNA), in a structural capacity or, in some newly discovered instances, as an enzyme. The spontaneous loss of the amino groups of cytosine (yielding uracil), methyl cytosine (yielding thymine) or of adenine (yielding hypoxanthine). It can be argued that the presence of thymine in DNA in place of the uracil of RNA stabilises genetic information against this lesion, since repair enzymes would restore the GU base pair to GC. This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008)

Nucleic Acid Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Nucleic Acid

nuclei nervi cochlearis
nuclei nervi vestibulocochlearis
nuclei nervorum cranialium
nuclei of cranial nerves
nuclei of mamillary body
nuclei of origin
nuclei originis
nuclei parabrachiales
nuclei pontis
nuclei raphes
nuclei tegmenti
nuclei terminationis
nuclei tuberales
nucleic acid (current term)
nucleic acid base
nucleic acid conformation
nucleic acid denaturation
nucleic acid heteroduplexes
nucleic acid hybridization
nucleic acid precursors
nucleic acid probe
nucleic acid probes
nucleic acid renaturation
nucleic acid synthesis inhibitors
nucleic acids

Literary usage of Nucleic acid

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Monographic Medicine by William Robie Patten Emerson, Guido Guerrini, William Brown, Wendell Christopher Phillips, John Whitridge Williams, John Appleton Swett, Hans Günther, Mario Mariotti, Hugh Grant Rowell (1916)
"nucleic acid in Animals and Plants It turns out, as a result of recent studies, that there are two great types of nucleic acid, one peculiar to the nuclei ..."

2. Science by American Association for the Advancement of Science (1896)
"The residue of the sperm-heads consists almost wholly of a mixture of the nucleic acid and basic protamin salts of nucleic acid. ..."

3. Elements of the Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates by Gustav Mann, Walther Löb, Henry William Frederic Lorenz, Robert Wiedersheim, William Newton Parker, Thomas Jeffery Parker, Harry Clary Jones, Sunao Tawara, Leverett White Brownell, Max Julius Louis Le Blanc, Willis Rodney Whitney, John Wesley Brown, Wi (1906)
"Alsberg has given the name of hemi-nucleic acid to a compound possessing only ... The alkali-salt of hemi-nucleic acid differs from that of nucleic acid in ..."

4. Journal of the American Chemical Society by American Chemical Society (1912)
"From a solution of yeast nucleic acid treated in this way crystallin creatinine ... It was found, however, that on washing the nucleic acid with cold dilute ..."

5. Nucleic Acids: Their Chemical Properties and Physiological Conduct by Walter Jones (1914)
"There is no doubt that animal nucleic acid contains a hexose group and is thus sharply distinguished from plant nucleic acid which contains a pentose group. ..."

6. Practical physiological chemistry by Philip Bovier Hawk (1918)
"Naturally those tissues are richest in nucleic acid which contain the largest ... The heads of the spermatozoa consist almost entirely of nucleic acid in ..."

7. A Text-book of Physiological Chemistry by Olof Hammarsten (1900)
"To all appearances the nature of the nucleic acid component is of still greater ... The nucleic acid from ox-sperm yields, according to KOSSEL almost ..."

8. A Text-book of Physiological Chemistry by Olof Hammarsten (1900)
"To all appearances the nature of the nucleic acid component is of still greater ... The nucleic acid from ox-sperm yields, according to KOSSEL almost ..."

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