can anyone out there explain to me what RNA is?

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
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    This is an excellent site for explaining RNA. I looked through it and I have copied what I found to be the best info for you, but if you need further explanation you can just go and look around on the site. The info below was copied and pasted from Hope this helps, and good luck! :) P.S. Also, if you don't understand some vocab, will totally work for you.

    Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a chain of nucleotides present in the cells of all life. RNA has a number of important functions for living organisms, ranging from the regulation of gene expression to assistance with copying genes. Severo Ochoa, Robert Holley, and Carl Woese all played critical roles in discovering RNA and understanding how it worked, and more research on RNA is constantly being performed.

    Many people are familiar with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a nucleic acid which is often referred to as the “building blocks of life” because it contains the genetic material for its parent organism. RNA is equally important, even if it is lesser known, because RNA plays a critical role in helping DNA to copy and express genes, and to transport genetic material around in the cell. RNA also has a number of independent functions which are no less important.

    This nucleic acid plays a role in the synthesis of proteins, the duplication of genetic material, gene expression, and gene regulation, among other things. There are a number of different types of RNA, including ribosomal RNA (rRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and messenger RNA (mRNA), all of which have slightly different functions. Studies on these different types of RNA sometimes reveal interesting information. rRNA, for example, undergoes very few changes over the millenia, so it can be used to trace the relationships between different organisms, looking for common or divergent ancestors.

    DNA plays a role in the synthesis of RNA. Essentially, DNA contains the blueprints for making RNA, so when the cell requires more RNA, it pulls up the necessary information in the DNA and gets to work. This process is known as “transcription,” referencing the fact that the information is basically copied from one molecule to another. Some very sneaky viruses, like HIV, are capable of reverse transcription, which means that they can translate RNA into DNA. Drugs which target such viruses often focus on the reverse transcription capability of the virus, working to block it so that it cannot perform this function.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is one of the three major macromolecules (along with DNA and proteins) that are essential for all known forms of life.

    Like DNA, RNA is made up of a long chain of components called nucleotides. Each nucleotide consists of a nucleobase (sometimes called a nitrogenous base), a ribose sugar, and a phosphate group. The sequence of nucleotides allows RNA to encode genetic information. For example, some viruses use RNA instead of DNA as their genetic material, and all organisms use messenger RNA (mRNA) to carry the genetic information that directs the synthesis of proteins.

    Like proteins, some RNA molecules play an active role in cells by catalyzing biological reactions, controlling gene expression, or sensing and communicating responses to cellular signals. One of these active processes is protein synthesis, a universal function whereby mRNA molecules direct the assembly of proteins on ribosomes. This process uses transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules to deliver amino acids to the ribosome, where ribosomal RNA (rRNA) links amino acids together to form proteins.

    The chemical structure of RNA is very similar to that of DNA, with two differences--(a) RNA contains the sugar ribose while DNA contains the slightly different sugar deoxyribose (a type of ribose that lacks one oxygen atom), and (b) RNA has the nucleobase uracil while DNA contains thymine (uracil and thymine have similar base-pairing properties).

    Unlike DNA, most RNA molecules are single-stranded. Single-stranded RNA molecules adopt very complex three-dimensional structures, since they are not restricted to the repetitive double-helical form of double-stranded DNA. RNA is made within living cells by RNA polymerases, enzymes that act to copy a DNA or RNA template into a new RNA strand through processes known as transcription or RNA replication, respectively.


    Source(s): Wikipedia and myself.
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  • 9 years ago

    i think it's Ribo Nucleic Acid but i'm not sure nor am i sure what it does or is for

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