Nucleic Acid Facts

Quick Facts about Nucleic Acids

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If you're taking general chemistry, organic, or biochemistry, you'll need to understand some basic concepts about nucleic acids, the polymers used to code the genetic information of organisms. Here are some quick nucleic acid facts to get you started:

  • Nucleic acids are the molecules that code the genetic information of organisms.
  • The two nucleic acids used in the repair, reproduction and protein synthesis are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA, shown) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).
  • DNA and RNA are polymers made up of monomers called nucleotides.
  • A DNA molecule is a double helix made up of two strands of polymers that are complementary to each other, but not identical. Hydrogen bonding holds the base pairs of the two strands together.
  • RNA is used to direct the production of proteins by the cell.