Skip to Content

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

 

VICC toll-free number 1-877-936-8422

DNA

Glossary

DNA

The molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next. Also called deoxyribonucleic acid.

The molecular basis of heredity; encodes the genetic information responsible for the development and function of an organism and allows for transmission of that genetic information from one generation to the next. The DNA molecule is structured as a double-stranded helix held together by weak hydrogen bonds between purine-pyrimidine nucleotide base pairs: adenine (A) paired with thymine (T), and guanine (G) paired with cytosine (C). Also called deoxyribonucleic acid.

Last updated: 2014-02-26

Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary)