Nucleic Acid Facts

Nucleic Acid Facts
••• Drawing by Jerome Walker

Nucleic acids hold the basic building blocks for life. Deoxyribonucleic acid are found in all cells. DNA is organized into x-shaped chromosomes. In humans it is found in the nucleus of the cell.


Friedrich Miescher first isolated DNA in 1869 and called it "nuclein." James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins determined the double-helix structure of DNA in 1953.


Nucleic acids contain long chains of molecules called nucleotides that are paired. Each nucleotide contains a phosphate base, a pentose sugar and a nitrogenous base.


DNA and RNA are the two primary types of nucleic acids. DNA and RNA differ in their sugar component, the types of nucleotides they contain and the number of strands of nucleotides they have.


The nucleotides that form nucleic acids are divided into two groups: pyrimidines and purines. DNA contains the purines adenine and guanine and the pyrimidines thymine and cytosine. In RNA, thymine is replaced with uracil.


DNA gives the blueprint for how an organism is made. The order of the nucleotides within the DNA encodes what a cell should do. RNA facilitates the translation of DNA information into protein synthesis.

Related Articles

What Is a Extra Ring of DNA in Bacteria?
The Types of Cells Which Lack a Membrane Bound Nucleus
Which Cell Organelle Stores DNA and Synthesizes RNA?
3 Properties of a Cell
What Are Nucleic Acids Made Of?
What Are the Two Major Functions of Nucleic Acid in...
Nucleic Acid Functions
What Are the Subunits of DNA?
Which Event Will Follow DNA Replication in a Cell Cycle?
What Are Twisted Strands of DNA in the Nucleus of the...
What Types of Molecules Catalyze RNA Splicing?
Elements of Nucleic Acids
Where Is the Nucleus Found in the Cell and Why?
What Combination of Chromosomes Results in a Boy?
What Does Chemical Analysis Reveal About DNA?
How to Get a tRNA Sequence from a DNA Sequence
Importance of Free Ribosomes
What Part of the Plant Makes Seeds?
Characteristics of Aquatic Plants

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!