Nucleic Acids

Last updated: November 25, 2015

What Does Nucleic Acids Mean?

Nucleic acids are large molecules or biopolymers that occur in the nucleus of living cells. Nucleic acids consist of smaller monomers called ‘nucleotides’. The sugar component of the nucleotide may be deoxyribose, in which case the nucleic acid is referred to as DNA, or it may be ribose, in which case the nucleic acid is called RNA.

Safeopedia Explains Nucleic Acids

These biological macromolecules encode, transmit and control the expression of genetic information and are an essential part of all life on earth. During sexual reproduction, nucleic acids from parents are combined into a single cell. This cell divides, replicating the nucleotide sequence of the original, ultimately giving rise to a new living organism. Sometimes, the nucleic acids are not properly replicated during cell division, and this may result in mutations. Exposure to radiation and certain chemicals also gives rise to mutations.


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