Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Interactives -- DNA

Human Genome : Transcription

In the cells of eurkaryotic organisms, such as plants, animals, and complex single-celled organisms like paramecia, DNA is housed within a nucleus. This cellular organ (or "organelle") has a double membrane that helps protect the DNA. Although DNA never leaves the nucleus, it controls the functions of the cell (and, therefore, the entire organism).

That control happens with the aid of transcription, the method by which the information in a segment of DNA--that is, a gene--is copied into another type of genetic material called messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA. Unlike DNA, mRNA can leave the nucleus and move into the rest of the cell. Once there, it helps create proteins, the molecules that build the structure of cells and carry out their functions. In this activity, you will learn how DNA and RNA are different, explore the process of transcription, and, finally, be able to build your own RNA.


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