∞ generated and posted on 2016.08.21 ∞
A kind of hereditary material though one that is also used for non-hereditary purposes, particularly as associated with the making proteins.
Ribonucleic acid or RNA is a kind of macromolecule, in this case a linear polymer of what are known as nucleic acids. Most forms of RNA can be described as 'transcripts' and most processes that result in the formation of RNA, from a DNA template (that is, where RNA is copied from DNA) is called transcription.
See also mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA.
No cellular organisms and only certain viruses, i.e., RNA viruses, use RNA as their hereditary material, though in the origin of life RNA may have predated DNA as hereditary material. The genomes of the viruses that cause AIDS as well as influenza, for example, consist of RNA.