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Chemistry LibreTexts


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  • Suppose you want to play a game at the local arcade, but the game only takes tokens, and you only have quarters. Do you just leave? No you exchange your quarters for tokens and then play the game. 

    Transcription is a similar process to the scenario above. Cells cannot make proteins directly from DNA, they must first convert the DNA to an intermediary molecule, RNA (ribonucleic acid). 


    Start by watching the video, RNA and the Central Dogma. This video gives an important overview of how information flows inside of cells, the central dogma

    The central dogma includes three processes:

    • Replication
    • Transcription 
    • Translation

    Go to the What is Transcription page, and read through the process of transcription. 

    Transcription makes 3 types of RNA:

    • mRNA - messenger RNA
    • rRNA - ribosomal RNA
    • tRNA - transfer RNA

    The process of transcription is similar to the process of replication:

    • both involve enzymes and complementary base pairing
    • they do have different end results
      • replication copies all the DNA
      • transcription copies a gene
      • replication makes one copy
      • transcription can make many copies

    Finish up transcription by watching the Brightstorm video, Biology Transcription

    We will go more into the codon and reading the bases later this week, pay attention to the base pairings in this video and the order of steps.