[noo-klee-ik, -kley-, nyoo-]
any of a group of long, linear macromolecules, either DNA or various types of RNA, that carry genetic information directing all cellular functions: composed of linked nucleotides.
Encoding Shakespeare into DNA
It’s time to look at the language of life itself—DNA. As you might remember from 7th-grade science, DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, the molecular structure that stores the genetic code for all life forms. Scientists continue to wonder if this living blueprint is all that DNA can hold. Researcher Nick Goldman of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) has recently stored all of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets in …
The Cryptic Language of Wine
Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of nucleic acid
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Any of a group of complex compounds found in all living cells and viruses, composed of purines, pyrimidines, carbohydrates, and phosphoric acid. Nucleic acids in the form of DNA and RNA control cellular function and heredity.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Any of a group of very large polymeric nucleotides that constitute the genetic material of living cells and viruses and that code for the amino acid sequences of proteins. Nucleic acids consist of either one or two long chains of repeating units called nucleotides, which consist of a nitrogen base (a purine or pyrimidine) attached to a sugar phosphate. The two main nucleic acids are DNA and RNA. In DNA, the nitrogen bases along the length of one chain are linked to complementary bases in the other chain by hydrogen bonds, and both chains coil around each other in a double helix. Particular sequences of nucleotides constitute genes and encode instructions for sequences of amino acids when proteins are synthesized. In RNA, which is usually single-stranded, complementary bases within the single strand may pair with each other, forming structures other than a double helix. See more at DNA RNA.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.