- Abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid. For terms bearing this abbreviation, see subentries under deoxyribonucleic acid.* * *deoxyribonucleic acid; did not answer
* * *DNA .dē-.en-'ā n any of various nucleic acids that are usu. the molecular basis of heredity, are constructed of a double helix held together by hydrogen bonds between purine and pyrimidine bases which project inward from two chains containing alternate links of deoxyribose and phosphate, and that in eukaryotes are localized chiefly in cell nuclei called also deoxyribonucleic acid see RECOMBINANT DNA
* * *the genetic material of nearly all living organisms, which controls heredity and is located in the cell nucleus (see chromosome, gene). DNA is a nucleic acid composed of two strands made up of units called nucleotide. The two strands are wound around each other into a double helix and linked together by hydrogen bonds between the bases of the nucleotides (see base pairing). The genetic information of the DNA is contained in the sequence of bases along the molecule (see genetic code); changes in the DNA cause mutation. The DNA molecule can make exact copies of itself by the process of replication, thereby passing on the genetic information to the daughter cells when the cell divides.
* * *deoxyribonucleic acid.
Medical dictionary. 2011.