Definition of DNA in English:

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Pronunciation: /diːɛnˈeɪ/


[mass noun] Biochemistry
1Deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material which is present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.
Example sentences
  • Within the nucleus are chromosomes that contain DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, genetic material unique to each individual.
  • In cultured cells, the consumption of the nutrients in the medium may affect the cell metabolism by interfering with deoxyribonucleic acid, ribonucleic acid and protein synthesis.
  • Increasingly, materials scientists are taking deoxyribonucleic acid beyond its origins as a carrier of genetic code and adapting it for use as a nanotechnology tool.

Each molecule of DNA consists of two strands coiled round each other to form a double helix, a structure like a spiral ladder. Each rung of the ladder consists of a pair of chemical groups called bases (of which there are four types), which combine in specific pairs so that the sequence on one strand of the double helix is complementary to that on the other: it is the specific sequence of bases which constitutes the genetic information.

1.1The fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something, especially when regarded as unchangeable: diversity is part of the company’s DNA men just don’t get shopping—it’s not in our DNA

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