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macromolecule, term that may refer either to a crystal such as a diamond, in which the atoms are identical and held by covalent bonds (see chemical bond) of equal strength, or to one of the units that compose a polymer. Macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids are vital to the functions of living cells.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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