DNA & RNA Basics

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THE WONDERFUL MOLECULE OF LIFE Shape of DNA Information in DNA Replication Summary What is RNA? Transcription Translation

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THE WONDERFUL MOLECULE OF LIFE Activities Videos Additional Info Previous Main Page Next Icon key

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THE WONDERFUL MOLECULE OF LIFE Standards The instructions for specifying the characteristics of an organism are carried in DNA, a large polymer formed from the subunits ATCG, located in the cell(s) of that organism. SB1a, SB2a,b Hereditary information, coded by DNA, is passed down from generation to generation in a predictable way. SB2c Using the DNA code, cells manufacture needed proteins that determine an organism’s phenotype. SB1a, SB2a,b

What is DNA? : 

What is DNA? DNA is often called the blueprint of life. In simple terms, DNA contains the instructions for making proteins within the cell.

What is the difference between Chromosomes, Genes and DNA : 

Our genes are on our chromosomes. A gene is a segment of DNA. A gene is located on a chromosome. Every factor in inheritance is due to a particular gene. Genes specify the structure of particular proteins that make up each cell. Chromosomes are made up of a DNA. What is the difference between Chromosomes, Genes and DNA

The Shape of DNA : 

The Shape of DNA DNA is a very long polymer. The basic shape is like a twisted ladder or zipper. This is called a double helix. The structure of DNA was discovered by James Watson & Francis Crick WATSON & CRICK

The Structure of DNA : 

The Structure of DNA The DNA double helix has two strands twisted together. The backbone of the molecule is alternating phosphate and deoxyribose, a sugar, parts. The teeth are nitrogenous bases.

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DNA has four different nitrogen bases Cytosine (C)Thymine (T)Adenine (A)Guanine (G) The bases attract each other because of hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen bonds are weak but there are millions and millions of them in a single molecule of DNA.

The Structure of DNA : 

The Structure of DNA Adenine and Thymine always join together A = T Cytosine and Guanine always join together C = G

Information in DNA : 

Information in DNA Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), is genetic material of all cellular organisms. DNA carries the information needed to direct protein synthesis and replication. Protein synthesis is the production of the proteins needed by the cell for its activities and development.

DNA Replication : 

DNA Replication The DNA molecule produces 2 IDENTICAL new complementary strands following the rules of base pairing: A-T, G-C Each strand of the original DNA serves as a template for the new strand As cells grow and divide the cell must make more DNA to carry out the functions of the cell.

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DNA can “unzip” itself and nucleotides match up to the DNA strand. Nucleotides are organic compounds that consist of three joined structures: a nitrogenous base, a sugar, and a phosphate group Both DNA & RNA are formed from NUCLEOTIDES and are called NUCLEIC acids.

What is RNA? : 

What is RNA? DNA contains the information for making proteins, but it does not make protein. There are 3 forms of RNA that are responsible for using the information stored in DNA to make protein. mRNArRNAtRNA

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Messenger RNA is a copy of the genetic information that was transcribed from the cell’s DNA. It is like a ‘blueprint’ of the genetic information and is brought to the ribosome and translated into protein with the help of tRNA.

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DNA has deoxyribose, mRNA has ribose; DNA has 2 strands, mRNA has one strand; DNA has thymine, mRNA has uracil.

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Transcription makes messenger RNA (mRNA) to carry the code for proteins out of the nucleus to the ribosomes in the cytoplasm. RNA polymerase binds to DNA, separates the strands, then uses one strand as a template to assemble mRNA.

Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) The Protein Factories : 

Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) The Protein Factories Most of the RNA in cells is associated with small cellular structures known as ribosomes, the protein factories of the cells. Ribosomes are the site of Translation, where mRNA arrives with genetic instructions for building proteins from amino acid monomers brought by tRNA.

DNA Translation : 

DNA Translation Translation assures that the right amino acids are joined together by peptides to form the correct protein. The cell uses information from mRNA to produce proteins.

DNA Translation : 

DNA Translation rRNA uses the code stored in mRNA to make proteins. Words in the nucleotide language are all 3 letters or bases long. These three base “words” are called codons

Transfer RNA (tRNA) The Amino Acid Suppliers : 

Transfer RNA (tRNA) The Amino Acid Suppliers Transfer RNA is part of the process of translation. It brings the amino acid coded for by mRNA, and these amino acids are joined together to form proteins.

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mRNA is like a waitress that takes your order or information so it can be made into your meal. The assistants to the chef is like the tRNA bringing the head chef the ingredients to make your meal The head chef is the rRNA, his job is to prepare the food

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