About This Chapter
Molecular Biology Overview - Chapter Summary
This chapter is designed to further develop your understanding of molecular biology processes and structures. You can learn more about DNA, enzymes and genetics with short, simple lessons that use definitions, illustrations and examples to present the material in an easily accessible manner.
Lessons will focus on such topics as replication, translation and reactions that are the cornerstones of molecular biology. After you have thoroughly reviewed this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
- Describe the characteristics and functions of DNA
- Relate what led to the discovery of DNA
- Differentiate between DNA and RNA and describe types of RNA
- Explain how DNA replicates
- Discuss how DNA is transcribed into RNA
- Provide details about codon recognition
- Examine the steps of translation
- Detail how gene expression is regulated
- Define enzymes and discuss their functions as well as enzymatic reactions
Benefit from expert instruction, easy-to-follow explanations and short self-assessment quizzes that allow you to determine how much you have learned and whether you might need further review. Lessons are accessible 24/7 from any device and lessons transcripts are printable so you can create handy reference tools if needed. Use your Dashboard to track your progress as you move through the lessons contained in this chapter.
1. What is DNA?
In this lesson, we will learn what DNA is, what its characteristics and functions are, even where it is located and what information it contains. We'll also learn how the double helix is created. Find out more.
2. The Transforming Principle: Definition & Explanation
Bacteria aren't above cannibalism. Discover how one bacterium can 'eat' another's genetic material - and how this freakish behavior led to the discovery of DNA.
3. Differences Between RNA and DNA & Types of RNA (mRNA, tRNA & rRNA)
In this lesson, you'll explore RNA structure and learn the central dogma of molecular biology. Along the way, you'll meet the three types of RNA and see how the cell uses them most effectively.
4. How Does DNA Replicate?
In this lesson, we will learn why DNA replicates as well as how. We'll also learn about the rates of replication and how DNA proofreads itself. After watching the lesson, you can complete a short quiz to test your knowledge.
5. Transcription of Messenger RNA (mRNA) from DNA
In this lesson, you will gain a thorough understanding of how transcription works. We will investigate how DNA is transcribed into RNA with the help of a promoter and RNA polymerase. Learn the purpose of messenger RNA and explore the three phases of transcription.
6. Codon Recognition: How tRNA and Anticodons Interpret the Genetic Code
How does codon recognition work at the molecular level? Can you use tRNA and anticodons to decipher the genetic code? Learn the mechanics of codon recognition and build a polypeptide from a sample genetic code.
7. Translation of mRNA to Protein: Initiation, Elongation & Termination Steps
Translation, the second part of the central dogma of molecular biology, describes how the genetic code is used to make amino acid chains. In this lesson, explore the mechanics involved in polypeptide synthesis. Learn the three major steps of translation as you watch tRNA, mRNA, and ribosomes go to work.
8. Regulation of Gene Expression: Transcriptional Repression and Induction
Do our genes work the same way all the time? How do we regulate the expression of our genes? Explore the various ways organisms control gene transcription through repression and induction of operons.
9. What are Enzymes? - Definition & Explanation
In this lesson, you will discover what enzymes are, explore how they work, and learn why they're needed for your cells' day-to-day functions. The lesson concludes with a quiz to test your knowledge.
10. Function of Enzymes: Substrate, Active Site & Activation Energy
In this lesson, we'll learn how enzymes function to lower the activation energy of a chemical reaction. Enzymes bind to their substrates to perform all kinds of important and essential cellular processes, as well as processes that help you enjoy a slice of pizza!
11. Enzymatic Reactions: Inhibition and Regulation
Enzymes are generally not allowed to run uncontrolled in a cell. While they are useful in catalyzing reactions, there is a time and place for everything. In this lesson, we'll discuss enzyme activators and inhibitors that regulate these reactions positively and negatively, respectively.
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