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Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Molécula

Molecule (MAH-leh-kyool)
The smallest particle of a substance that has all of the physical and chemical properties of that substance. Molecules are made up of one or more atoms. If they contain more than one atom, the atoms can be the same (an oxygen molecule has two oxygen atoms) or different (a water molecule has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom). Biological molecules, such as proteins and DNA, can be made up of many thousands of atoms.



 
 
Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.