DNA -->
deoxyribonucleic acid
medical dictionary

<cell biology, molecular biology>

The molecule that encodes genetic information in the nucleus of cells. It determines the structure, function and behaviour of the cell.

DNA is a double-stranded molecule held together by weak bonds between base pairs of nucleotides. The four nucleotides in DNA contain the bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T).

In nature, base pairs form only between A and T and between G and C, thus the base sequence of each single strand can be deduced from that of its partner.

Acronym: DNA

(10 Nov 1998)