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DNA

Synonym(s)

  • deoxyribonucleic acid
  • desoxyribonucleic acid

Definition(s)

Deoxyribonucleic acid. The molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next.

Definition from: Physician Data Query via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

DNA is the chemical name for the molecule that carries genetic instructions in all living things. The DNA molecule consists of two strands that wind around one another to form a shape known as a double helix. Each strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (deoxyribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases--adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). The two strands are held together by bonds between the bases; adenine bonds with thymine, and cytosine bonds with guanine. The sequence of the bases along the backbones serves as instructions for assembling protein and RNA molecules.

Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic TermsThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. from the National Human Genome Research Institute

Related discussion in the Handbook

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: December 16, 2014