The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Science and technology
  • Chemistry


Show Summary Details



Quick Reference

(ribonucleic acid)

A complex organic compound (a nucleic acid) in living cells that is concerned with protein synthesis. In some viruses, RNA is also the hereditary material. Most RNA is synthesized in the nucleus and then distributed to various parts of the cytoplasm. An RNA molecule consists of a long chain of nucleotides in which the sugar is ribose and the bases are adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil. Compare DNA.


Reference entries

View all reference entries »