Explain how nucleic acids and proteins are both polymers. Make sure you describe the monomers that make them up in detail.
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Both nucleic acids and proteins are polymers in that they are composed of smaller subunits that have been covalently bonded. Proteins are made up of amino acids that are linked with peptide bonds; nucleic acids are linear unbranched polymers of nucleotides, which consist of a five-carbon sugar (ribose or deoxyribose), one or more phosphate groups, and a nitrogen-containing ring structure called a base (purines and pyrimidines).
A nucleotide has 3 parts:
1) A phosophate group .
2) A 5-carbon sugar (ribose in RNA and deoxyribose in DNA) .
3) A nitrogenous base (adenine, cytosine, and guanine, and then either thymine (in DNA) or uracil (in RNA)) .
An amino acid has a central carbon with 4 groups attached:
1) An amine group (NH2 or NH3+) .
2) A carboxyl group (COOH or COO-) .
3) A hydrogen atom .
4) An R group (called a side chain) -- each of the 20 amino acids has a different side chain.