What are the two types of nucleic acids called?


Quick Answer

The two types of nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, and ribonucleic acid, or RNA. DNA can be found in most living organisms and is found in the nucleus of living cells. RNA converts genetic information found in genes into amino acid sequences.

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Full Answer

Proteins are built within the body to specifications found in the cells. Because the system is so complex, there is a lot of information needed and this information details the structure of the proteins. The nucleic acids are a set of molecules found in each cell around the body and are made of sugar and phosphate bonded together in a long chain.

Each nucleic acid can bond to only four nucleotide bases; however, millions of these four bases are bonded to them. DNA is named after the sugar that is used in its backbone, deoxyribose and is significant due to its structure with the bonds of the nucleotide bases. The four nucleotide bases is can connect to are, adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). The molecule of DNA is double stranded, and the adenine bonded with sugars always bond with thymine on the other strand and guanine bonds with cytosine, forming the double helix structure.

Like DNA, RNA has a sugar and phosphate backbone and bonds with four nucleotide bases. The sugar in RNA, however, ribose rather than deoxyribose and RNA only has a single strand. Unlike DNA, RNA does not bond with thymine, but bonds with uracil (U). RNA is needed to build proteins in living organisms and can move around the cells of the body relaying information stored in the nucleus to other parts of the cell where proteins are made.

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