1. Describe the process of transcription: unwinding, complimentary base pairing, separating
Transcription occurs when mRNA enters the nucleus through nuclear pores and arrives at the point of the DNA molecule it needs to replicate. From this point, RNA polymerase helps by unwinding the DNA molecule in the area where mRNA needs it. The mRNA molecule then finds the opposite side of the nucleotides it wants to copy (the nonsense side), and uses its complimentary base pairs adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil to replicate the opposite strand. The mRNA will then leave the nucleus through a nuclear pore and the DNA molecule will be zipped back up and rewinded.
2. How did today’s activity do a good job of modelling the process of transcription? In what ways was our model inaccurate?
in this activity we had to create the RNA strand ourselves which puts into perspective how set in stone the process is and how impressively fast it must take place. Obviously the DNA and RNA molecules would not look like how they do in this activity because they are 3D structures that are molecularly sized, but for the most part, this was very helpful and accurate on how mRNA would be produced.
3. Describe the process of translation: initiation, elongation, and termination.
Initiation occurs when the ribosome that is reading the mRNA molecule finds the start codon and begins reading the following codons. elongation is the process in which tRNA molecules carry amino acids and anti codons to ribosomes to build a string of amino acids to build a protein. Termination occurs when the ribosome reads a stop codon and released the mRNA, amino acid chain/protein, and any tRNA molecules attached.
4. How did today’s activity do a good job of modelling the process of translation? In what ways was our model inaccurate?
This activity really helped to give a visual on how the process takes place and how it would occur in our cells, it showed how many things had to happen at once and once again how particular the whole thing is. However, like the DNA and RNA portion of this activity, the molecules involved in this portion are also 3D and can’t really represent a perfectly accurate design on paper.