Nucleice acids are essential for all known forms of life. Nucleic acids which include DNA and RNA are made from monomers know as nucleotides.

DNA is found entirely in the nucleus (apoart from a small amount in the mitochondria located in the cytoplasm) and is structured in a double stranded helix formed by nucleotide pairing. It makes up chromosones – the hereditary units that control all cellular activities; divided into genes that carry the nucleotide codes for the manufacture of proteins.

RNA is found almost entirely in the cytoplasm and is structured in a single strand. RNA manufacture proteins according to the codes carried in the DNA. There are three main types: messenger RNA, ribosomal RNA and transfer RNA.

In protein synthesis messenger RNA travels to the ribsomes in the cytoplasm. The information in the mRNA codes for the building of proteins from amino acids. Transfer RNA molecules bring amino acids to the ribosomes to build each protein.