Write an analysis of how DNA is transcribed and translated.

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Answer & Explanation
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DNA is the genetic material that provides the instructions necessary for an organism’s development and function. The process of transcription and translation is critical in turning the genetic information stored in DNA into functional proteins. This process is essential in all living organisms and is an integral part of the central dogma of molecular biology.

Transcription is the process by which the genetic information encoded in the DNA is transcribed into a complementary RNA molecule. RNA polymerase is the enzyme responsible for this process. The process of transcription involves the following steps:

Initiation: RNA polymerase recognizes and binds to the promoter region of the DNA, which is a specific sequence of nucleotides that signals the start of a gene. RNA polymerase then unwinds a small segment of the DNA helix.

Elongation: RNA polymerase moves along the DNA strand, synthesizing a complementary RNA molecule as it goes. The RNA molecule is synthesized in the 5′

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Step-by-step explanation
to 3′ direction, which is the same direction as the DNA template strand.

Termination: RNA polymerase reaches a termination sequence at the end of the gene, which signals the end of the transcription process. RNA polymerase releases the newly synthesized RNA molecule and detaches from the DNA.

Once the RNA molecule is transcribed, it undergoes a process called RNA processing, which includes modifications such as splicing, capping, and tailing. These modifications help to protect the RNA molecule and ensure that it is stable enough to leave the nucleus and travel to the cytoplasm, where translation occurs.

Translation is the process by which the genetic information encoded in the RNA molecule is translated into a functional protein. This process occurs in the ribosome, which is composed of two subunits, a large subunit, and a small subunit. The process of translation involves the following steps:

Initiation: The small ribosomal subunit binds to the mRNA molecule, and the initiator tRNA carrying the amino acid methionine binds to the start codon of the mRNA.

Elongation: The ribosome moves along the mRNA molecule in a 5′ to 3′ direction. As it moves, tRNA molecules carrying specific amino acids bind to the mRNA molecule based on their anticodon sequence, which is complementary to the codon on the mRNA. The ribosome catalyzes the formation of peptide bonds between the amino acids, which forms a polypeptide chain.

Termination: The ribosome reaches a stop codon on the mRNA molecule, which signals the end of translation. The newly synthesized protein is released from the ribosome and folds into its functional three-dimensional structure.

In summary, DNA is transcribed into RNA by RNA polymerase, and the RNA molecule undergoes processing before being translated into a functional protein by the ribosome. This process is critical for the functioning of all living organisms and is an essential component of the central dogma of molecular biology.

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