Nucleic Acids describes the way in which the fundamentally important biological activities of these molecules can be understood in terms of their chemical structures. The book focuses on the chemistry of the deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) and ribonucleic acids (RNA). However, because nucleic acid chemistry cannot be fully understood without some knowledge of the underlying biology, a substantial amount of the background biology is also included. Beginning with a concise review of the biological roles of nucleic acids, the text then discusses the components from which they are made, and works up through nucleosides and nucleotides to the covalent structures of the nucleic acids themselves. The double helical structure of DNA and its implications for replication are then described. This is followed by a detailed treatment of the chemistry of the processes by which the information encoded in DNA is expressed in terms of the amino acid sequences of proteins. The final chapter describes modern tools of DNA analysis and how they have been used in a range of recent applications such as gene cloning, genome sequence analysis, and DNA fingerprinting. Although targeted specifically at undergraduate chemistry students, Nucleic Acids will also be of interest to undergraduates studying biochemistry. Ideal for the needs of undergraduate chemistry students, Tutorial Chemistry Texts is a major series consisting of short, single topic or modular texts concentrating on the fundamental areas of chemistry taught in undergraduate science courses. Each book provides a concise account of the basic principles underlying a given subject, embodying an independent-learning philosophy and including worked examples.