What are Nucleic Acids made of?

1,676 Views Updated: 07 May 2018
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What are Nucleic Acids made of?

Science is as wonderful as it is confusing and there is a lot of interesting stuff that one can learn if they probe deeper. The most fascinating of everything is the human body itself. It is like a huge and intricate machine and each organ functions differently and yet in accordance with each other.

But did you ever wonder what is the human body or for that matter the body of any living organism made of. The answer is nucleic acids which are the building blocks of a living organism.

Are DNA A Type Of Nucleic Acids?

So if nucleic acids are what the body of an organism is made of then what is DNA. The answer is that DNA is just a type of nucleic acid. There are other types of nucleic acids as well such as RNA, mRNA, and tRNA. The function of these NAs is to assist the cell to multiply and build protein.Also, in case you are wondering what does this NA even mean then it is a short form for nucleic acid. In the same way, DNA is actually deoxyribonucleic acid and RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. The names are difficult to remember and this is why there is a short form to make things easier. The mRNA is messenger RNA and tRNA is transfer RNA. There is also another RNA which basically stands for ribosomal RNA. The reason they are called nucleic acid is that scientists first discovered them in the nucleus of cells. This was back when there weren’t advanced equipment but advancement in science has led to the discovery of nucleic acid in mitochondria, chloroplasts, and cells that have no nucleus, such as bacteria and viruses.

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(Image Courtesy: Pixabay)

The Three Pieces Of Nucleic Acids

Every nucleic acid is made up of the same component, these building blocks are also called monomers. A nucleic acid can be easily classified into five easy parts. Chemists refer to monomers as nucleotides. The five pieces are known as uracil, cytosine, thymine, adenine, and guanine respectively. It is the only RNA that consists of uracil. Similar to how humans need twenty amino acids to survive, they also require five nucleotides. These are essential for the human body to function and sustain itself. The body of nucleotides is made up of certain components and each of them is made up of three parts.

#1. A five-carbon sugar

#2. A base that has nitrogen (N) atoms

(Image Courtesy: Encyclopedia)

#3. An ion of phosphoric acid known as phosphate

Are there any other questions about the human body that you need answers to, then leave us a feedback using the comment box below.

(Featured Image Courtesy: NCBI)

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