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date: 14 July 2024

17. p. 573Nucleic Acidslocked

17. p. 573Nucleic Acidslocked

  • Trudy McKee
  •  and James R. McKee


This chapter analyses the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, which are polynucleotides that encode the genetic information used to construct and maintain living organisms. Double-stranded DNA is, in effect, the blueprint used to direct cell processes. The chapter highlights how cells convert DNA’s operating instructions into the nucleotide sequence of single-stranded RNA molecules. It outlines RNAs’ numerous functions, which include polypeptide synthesis, the regulation of gene expression, and protection from foreign nucleic acids introduced by viral infections. Investigations of nucleic acid structure and function, now almost 70 years old, have given humans a previously unimagined understanding of biological processes and a powerful tool used in such diverse fields as disease diagnosis and treatment and forensic investigations.

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