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deoxyribonucleic acid; a macromolecule formed of repeating deoxyribonucleotide units linked by phosphodiester bonds between the 5'-phosphate group of one nucleotide and the 3'-hydroxy group of the next. DNA appears in Nature in both double-stranded (the Watson-Crick model) and single-stranded forms, and functions as a repository of genetic information that is encoded in its base sequence. (see also A-DNA; B-DNA; Z-DNA)
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