Nucleic Acids Examples
The nucleic acids have a far more important-sounding name: the building blocks of life. These components are found in DNA and RNA of every living thing on the planet. They're located in the nucleus of all living cells, and have a variety of jobs, including the construction of proteins, the replication of the cells for longevity and growth, the containment of genetic material that is passed to offspring, and more. There are five chief types of components in nucleic acids: cytosine, guanine, thymine, uracil, and adenine. Whether the acid contains uracil or thymine determines whether it is DNA (thymine) or RNA (uracil).
Deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA, is a well-known component in genetics. It contains all of the genetic information for a living organism, carried as long strings of information called genes. These genes are found in the nucleus of the cells. A polymer structure made of sugar provides the attachment point for the nucleobases that make up the DNA. The combinations of where these nucleobases attach forms our hereditary traits.
Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, is also present in the nuclei of living things, although there are certain types of RNA viruses that only contain RNA, and not DNA. There are now several known classes of RNA, but three major types-transfer RNA, messenger RNA, and ribosomal RNA-are mostly responsible for all of the action in the nucleus that pertains to the genetic information. RNA carries the information along, is responsible for the growth of new proteins, and creating peptide bonds.
3. Artificial Nucleic Acids
Some nucleic acids are synthesized in a laboratory setting by scientists who can create analogous structures to actual DNA and RNA. This is typically done for research purposes, specifically in medicine and molecular biology fields.
Mutations can occur within the DNA and RNA structures that have devastating consequences for the living organism that contains it. Some of these mutations to the nucleic acids have resulted in medical conditions such as heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, cystic fibrosis, Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, Tay-Sachs disease, and many more.