- Ribonucleic acid. One of the two types of nucleic acids found in all cells. The other is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). RNA transmits genetic information from DNA to proteins produced by the cell.
Definition from: Physician Data Query via Unified Medical Language System at the National Library of Medicine
- Any of various nucleic acids that contain ribose and uracil as structural components and are associated with the control of cellular chemical activities -- called also ribonucleic acid.
Definition from: Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary by Merriam-Webster Inc.
- Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule similar to DNA. Unlike DNA, RNA is single-stranded. An RNA strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (ribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases--adenine (A), uracil (U), cytosine (C), or guanine (G). Different types of RNA exist in the cell: messenger RNA (mRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), and transfer RNA (tRNA). More recently, some small RNAs have been found to be involved in regulating gene expression.
Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms from the National Human Genome Research Institute
Related discussion in the Handbook
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.