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1. The structure formed by a polynucleic acid by base-pairing between neighboring complementary sequences of a single strand of either DNA or RNA.
2. The structure seen in a prostaglandin where two segments of the molecule fold back on one another.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
hairpina double-stranded structure found in single-stranded NUCLEIC ACID molecules, due to BASE PAIRING between adjacent complementary sequences. The two sequences are inversely arranged and may be directly adjacent, as in a PALINDROME, or interrupted by a non-complementary sequence. In the former case a double-stranded segment (hairpin) is generated; in the latter a hairpin-loop structure forms.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005