[Biology] Nucleic acids

DEFINITION

Nucleic acids are polymers resulting from the linkage of smaller units called nucleotides.

BACKGROUND:

Nucleic acids were first isolated in 1869, by Fredrich Miescher from the nuclei of pus cells.

NUCLEOTIDES:

Nucleotides are small molecules acting as monomers and join together into a chain forming nucleic acids. Nucleic acids are therefore also known as polynucleotides.

COMPONENTS OF NUCLEOTIDE:

A nucleotide is composed of three components namely
  1. Nitrogen containing base
  2. Pentose sugar (5 carbon monosaccharide)
  3. Phosphate group
NITROGENOUS BASE:
  • The nitrogenous bases found in nucleotides (and hence nucleic acids) are heterocyclic compounds.
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