Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) Structure
What is Ribonucleic Acid
Ribonucleic acid is the genetic material of some types of viruses and, in cellular organisms, the molecule that directs the phases of protein synthesis. In RNA viruses, this molecule drives two processes: protein synthesis (production of proteins that make up the virus capsule) and replication (formation of a copy of itself).
Main functions, information and characteristics
In cellular organisms is another type of genetic material, called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which carries information that determines the structure of proteins. However, DNA cannot act alone, so it relies on RNA to transfer this vital information during protein synthesis (production of the proteins the cell needs for its metabolism).
Like DNA, RNA is made up of a chain of chemical elements called nucleotides. These compounds are chemically differentiated by two characteristics: the RNA glucose molecule contains a missing oxygen atom in the DNA, and the RNA has the uracil base rather than the DNA thymine.