The Biochemistry of the Nucleic Acids provides an elementary outline of the main biochemical features of nucleic acids and nucleoproteins. The book describes the occurrence and biological functions of nucleic acids, their chemical constituents, and catabolism. This text is organized into 14 chapters and begins with a historical overview, from the discovery of the nucleic acids to their isolation and characterization. The discussion then shifts to bacterial transforming factors and transduction phenomena, along with the genetic function and metabolic stability of DNA, the chemical composition of the cell nucleus, and the Feulgen nucleal reaction. The reader is methodically introduced to the structure and biosynthesis of RNA and DNA; nucleic acids found in viruses; and biosynthesis of mononucleotides. An account of nucleases and related enzymes is also given. A chapter on the precise mechanism by which nucleic acids are broken down in the cell concludes the book. This book is intended for students of biochemistry, chemists, and biologists.