DNA & RNA

why do we have more than one kind of nucleic acid and what do they do?

allnucleic acids have different functions and purposes. DNA provides instructions for all of your bodily needs. messenger RNA brings specific instructions from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. transfer RNA carries amino acids to ribosomes. ribosomal RNA is part of the ribosomal structure. 

differences between translation and transcription?

  • translation converts RNA into protein using an amino acid chart while transcription changes DNA to RNA
  • translation involves nucleic acids and amino acids/proteins while transcription only involves nucleic acids
  • translation happens to ribosomes in the cytoplasm while transcription occurs in the nucleus

*information from DNA goes through transcription to make RNA. this information is sent to the cytoplasm. 

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differences between DNA and RNA

  • DNA has 2 strands, RNA has 1
  • DNA uses deoxyribose as sugar, RNA uses ribose as sugar
  • DNA’s nitrogenous bases are adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine, RNA’s nitrogenous bases are adenine, uracil, cytosine, and guanine
  • DNA pairs A-T, C-G, RNA pairs A-U, C-G
  • DNA is used in the nucleus, RNA is used in the cytoplasm
  • DNA is made through replication, RNA is made through transcription
  • DNA and RNA are alike because they both give instructions on what to do to various parts of the cell and have similar base pairing rules and nitrogenous bases. 
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DNA essential questions

how is DNA built?

DNA is built by lining up base pairs (A, T, C, G) with each other and forming a strand known as the double helix. in each pair, there is one nitrogenous base (A, C, T, G), one phosphate group, and one sugar (deoxyribose). 

how is DNA packaged? 

strands of DNA are wrapped around histone proteins. DNA on histones is then tightly wrapped into chromatin. the chromatin is packaged together closely to form a chromosome, which goes into the nucleus of a cell.

how is DNA copied? why is it copied?

DNA is copied when helicase unzips the double helix structure into two separate strands. DNA polymerase comes and produces the opposite base pairing for each nitrogenous base on one strand of the separated DNA so that there are two exactly identical new strands by the end of the process. it is copied for use in cell replication, so that two new cells will have the same genetic code.

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important scientists involved in discovering DNA

  • griffith: performed the mice experiment and discovered transformation (the harmless strain of bacteria changed into the disease-causing strain)
  • avery: based off of griffith’s experiments discovered that DNA must be the transforming factor
  • hershey and chase: tagged things with bacteriophages to determine that DNA held the genetic material that is passed down
  • franklin: produced the x-ray that helped watson and crick’s discoveries
  • chargaff: discovered the base pairings of DNA, A to T and C to G
  • watson and crick: found that DNA is shaped like a double helix
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DNA replication vocab

  • bacteriophage: a virus that infects and kills bacteria
  • transformation: griffith referred to the process where one strain of bacteria changes into a more dangerous one as this
  • nucleotide: units that form a long molecule, DNA
  • deoxyribose: sugar in DNA
  • phosphate group: another part of DNA
  • nitrogen-containing base: third part of DNA, either A, T, C, or G
  • replication: DNA-copying process before cell division
  • helicase: splits DNA
  • DNA polymerase: principal enzyme involved in DNA replication
  • replication fork: sites where separation and replication occur
  • chromatin: DNA and protein (histones) packed together
  • histone: the protein that DNA tightly coils around
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genetics lab

we randomly were given tiles in order to determine the mother and father’s genotypes. these determined the mother and father’s eye color, metabolism, bloodtype and Rh factor, hair color, hair texture etc. some of these traits were normal dominant and recessive, such as one’s Rh factor, because Rh+ is dominant over Rh-, while others showed codominance (blood type A, B, and O) or incomplete dominance (one’s metabolism is a mixture of the parents’ metabolisms.) we also observed sex-linked traits such as hemophilia or color-blindness. these inherited diseases are attached to the X-chromosome and more likely to occur in males because they only have one X-chromosome and cannot be just a carrier, as females can. 

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multiple alleles

multiple alleles: any trait controlled by three or more alleles for one gene

blood type is controlled by I(superscript A), I(with superscript B), and i. I(A) and I(B) are codominant, which means both alleles are equally expressed. if you have both alleles, you will end up with type AB blood since one is not dominant over the other. i is a recessive allele, that represents type O blood.

  • in order to have type A blood, you must have either two I(A) alleles or I(A)i [I(A) is dominant over i]. 
  • in order to have type B blood, you must have either two I(B) alleles or I(B)i. 
  • in order to have type AB blood, you must have both I(A) and I(B) alleles. 
  • in order to have type O blood, you must have two ii alleles.

antigen: antibody generator, typically a protein molecule that will activate an immune response, like an ID badge

antibody: molecule used by the immune system to identify and eradicate foreign substances in the body

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mendel’s laws

law of dominance: dominant alleles overshadow other alleles when both are present

law of segregation: separate alleles in gametes so there is an equal chance of both traits 

law of independent assortment: alleles for different traits can be recombined in different ways

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