Nucleic acids are biopolymers, macromolecules, essential to all known forms of life. They are composed of nucleotides, which are the monomers made of three components: a 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base. The two main classes of nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). If the sugar is ribose, the polymer is RNA; if the sugar is the ribose derivative deoxyribose, the polymer is DNA.
Nucleic acids are naturally occurring chemical compounds that serve as the primary information-carrying molecules in cells and make up the genetic material. Nucleic acids are found in abundance in all living things, where they create, encode, and then store information of every living cell of every life-form on Earth. In turn, they function to transmit and express that information inside and outside the cell nucleus to the interior operations of the cell and ultimately to the next generation of each living organism. The encoded information is contained and conveyed via the nucleic acid sequence, which provides the 'ladder-step' ordering of nucleotides within the molecules of RNA and DNA. They play an especially important role in directing protein synthesis.
Strings of nucleotides are bonded to form helical backbones—typically, one for RNA, two for DNA—and assembled into chains of base-pairs selected from the five primary, or canonical, nucleobases, which are: adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine, and uracil. Thymine occurs only in DNA and uracil only in RNA. Using amino acids and the process known as protein synthesis, the specific sequencing in DNA of these nucleobase-pairs enables storing and transmitting coded instructions as genes. In RNA, base-pair sequencing provides for manufacturing new proteins that determine the frames and parts and most chemical processes of all life forms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleic_acid
noun: all the chemical processes by which cells produce the energy and substances necessary for life. Food is separated (dissociated) into the parts it is made up of to produce heat and energy, to repair tissues, and to help growth to happen.
noun: the organic processes in a cell or organism that are necessary for life
noun: the marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals
Metabolism ("change") is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are:
(1) the conversion of the energy in food to energy available to run cellular processes;
(2) the conversion of food to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates;
(3) and the elimination of metabolic wastes. [Metabolism]
Metabolic reactions may be categorized as catabolic – the breaking down of compounds (for example, of glucose to pyruvate by cellular respiration); or anabolic – the building up (synthesis) of compounds (such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids). Usually, catabolism releases energy, and anabolism consumes energy. [Metabolism]