The Science of Existence (117) Nucleic Acids

Nucleic Acids

DNA was the first three-dimensional Xerox machine. ~ English economist and sociologist Kenneth Boulding

Swiss physician and biologist Friedrich Miescher isolated various phosphate-rich chemicals from the nuclei of white blood cells in 1869. He called them nuclein because they seemed to come from the nuclei of cells.

A few years later, nuclein were found to be slightly acidic, so they became known as nucleic acids. No one knew what the substance was or was for. As well as having different functions, nucleic acids are chemically different than amino acids.

Nucleic acids are biopolymers; specifically, RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), both polynucleotides. A biopolymer is a polymer produced by a cell. A polynucleotide is a biopolymer of 13 or more nucleotide monomers chained together by covalent bonds.