What is the function of nucleic acids?


Quick Answer

Nucleic acids are organic compounds that both store genetic information and transfer it during cell division. DNA holds the genetic codes necessary for the creation of new cells, while the RNA uses the genetic codes in the DNA to synthesize and create new proteins during cell division, according to About.com.

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Full Answer

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is essentially the storage unit for the building blocks of life. The RNA, or ribonucleic acid, uses the information stored in the DNA to facilitate and regulate protein synthesis, according to Tutorvista.com. From within a cell's nucleus, DNA passes genetic code to RNA, which in turn uses the code to shape the newly made proteins. RNA uses the genetic code by converting it into amino acids which can then be used to make up new proteins.

RNA can be broken down into three specific nucleic acids: t-RNA, m-RNA and r-RNA. The t-RNA is the nucleic acid that delivers the amino acids to the area where protein synthesis occurs. The m-RNA receives the genetic messages from the RNA and processes it for delivery. Lastly, r-RNA is the nucleic acid that makes up a large portion of a cell's ribosome and contributes to the stability of the m-RNA.

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