About This Chapter
Molecular Genetics Overview - Chapter Summary
We know from such movies as Jurassic Park and X-Men that scientists have studied the genetic code to understand the building blocks of life. This chapter gives you an overview of molecular genetics that steps away from the science fiction to give you the real science facts about such topics as genetic mutation, translation, environmental factors, and so forth.
Each lesson can help you build your scientific vocabulary, since our instructors clearly point out all the keywords and definitions. Furthermore, the instructors walk you through all of these molecular genetic processes with easy-to-follow examples. No matter what your study schedule needs may be, our online platform is here to help you 24/7. Not to mention the fact that you can email your questions to our instructors for some personal, one-on-one help. In this chapter, you will learn:
- What is the central dogma and protein synthesis in the cell
- What are DNA, messenger RNA (mRNA), and transcription
- How to define the genetic code and codon recognition
- How to use the code to translate RNA into amino acids
- To identify the functions of peptide bonds and ribosomes
- What are elongation, initiation, and termination steps in translation
- How DNA is affected via insertions, point mutations, and deletions
- What are protein functions and mutations
- How environmental factors cause mutagens
1. Genetics: Heredity, Traits & Chromosomes
We view manipulation of genes in our crops and livestock as a recent development. Yet, man has been manipulating the genetic makeup of his food for thousands of years through cultivation and breeding. This lesson will begin to help you understand how genetics works.
2. Properties of Alleles
What is a dominant phenotype and how will it affect Adrian's flying hamster research? Tune in as he studies homozygous and heterozygous genotypes and the phenotypes they produce.
3. Mendel's First Law: The Law of Segregation
Breaking up is a hard thing to do, but homologous chromosomes always go their separate way. What effect does chromosome segregation have on genetics? We look once more to Adrian's flying hamsters for answers.
4. Mendel's Second Law: The Law of Independent Assortment
Understanding how Mendel's law of independent assortment describes inheritance of genes is as easy as flipping a coin. Grab a few coins, cue up the video and see how.
5. Protein Synthesis in the Cell and the Central Dogma
Learn the story of the central dogma and how it relates to protein synthesis. We'll use a simple analogy to explore the roles of transcription and translation in building protein from the DNA code. In this lesson, we'll also introduce the concept of a gene.
6. 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.
7. How An Operon Controls Transcription in a Prokaryotic Cell
Is gene regulation really as simple as flipping a switch? What are the parts of an operon, and how do they function to control gene transcription? We'll study the lac operon to answer these questions.
8. Examples of Transcription Regulation in Eukaryotes
Transcription is more complicated than just turning a gene 'on' or 'off' like a light switch. In this lesson, you'll learn how eukaryotic transcription is regulated through the use of DNA regulatory regions, DNA methylation, and chromatin modification.
9. What Is the Genetic Code That Translates RNA Into Amino Acids?
How is RNA translated into a series of amino acids? Learn the language of the genetic code, explore a codon dictionary, and discover some basics of genetics in this lesson on translation.
10. Making Sense of the Genetic Code: Codon Recognition
Explore the genetic code and how it is translated into a polypeptide. We'll practice using the RNA codon chart and learn the basics of codon recognition.
11. The Role of Ribosomes and Peptide Bonds in Genetic Translation
Ribosomes play a major role in the process of genetic translation. In this lesson, learn about the structure of ribosomes and how peptide bonds help to create chains of amino acids.
12. 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.
13. What is a Point Mutation? - Definition, Causes & Types
What are genetic mutations? How do they affect our DNA? This lesson covers the basics of point mutations and provides simple examples of different mutation types.
14. Effects of Mutations on Protein Function: Missense, Nonsense, and Silent Mutations
How does a tiny point mutation change the way a protein works? What are the consequences of base substitutions? In this lesson, we'll use an imaginary creature to explore missense, nonsense and silent mutations.
15. Mutagens: How the Environment Affects Mutation Rates
What causes mutations to occur in living things? How do we avoid mutations? Are mutations always bad? Discover answers to these questions and more in this lesson on mutagens.
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Other chapters within the Science 101: Intro to Natural Sciences course
- Atomic Structure & Fundamentals of Matter
- Introduction to Thermodynamics
- Cell Biology Fundamentals
- Introduction to Molecular Biology
- Introduction to Biochemistry
- Cellular Reproduction Processes
- Plant Anatomy, Physiology & Processes
- Animal Reproduction, Growth and Development
- Animal Anatomy, Physiology & Functions
- Human Anatomy & Physiology
- Environmental Science Fundamentals
- Introduction to Ecology
- Basics of Evolution
- The Origin and History of Life On Earth
- Phylogeny and the Classification of Organisms
- Studying for Science 101