About This Chapter
Praxis Biology: RNA and Gene Expression - Chapter Summary
RNA acts like a courier for DNA, carrying genetic information to the proper locations, and then helps to build proteins in human bodies. With this chapter, you can learn all about the two main types of RNA and observe the transcription process. You can also find out how genes express themselves and learn some helpful strategies for understanding genetic code. The following topics are included in this chapter:
- The central dogma and protein synthesis
- Messenger RNA (mRNA)
- How gene expression is regulated
- Translation of RNA into amino acids
- Codon recognition
- Enhancers and epigenetics
- Adult and embryonic stem cell uses
- Effects on DNA of insertions, deletions and point mutations
Our lessons break down intricate concepts into bite-sized pieces to guide your understanding. You can view and listen to the video presentations, read the transcripts and take the short quizzes that follow each lesson. Video timelines expose handy tags to help you find certain lesson portions for additional review. Many lessons also contain links to extra text lessons on related topics for clarification.
Praxis Biology: RNA and Gene Expression Objectives
The cellular and molecular biology portion of the Praxis II Biology Content Knowledge exam contains approximately 38 questions and constitutes about 25% of the test. In addition to addressing the topics listed above, this section of the test will also ask about such concepts as molecular structure, nucleic acid function, cell division, energy flow in organisms and enzyme structure. The other five sections of the biology content knowledge test cover basic science principles, science and technology, ecology, classical genetics, evolution and diversity of life.
Not only does this test look for your comprehension of these biology concepts, but it also judges your competence in teaching secondary biology classes. The test is multiple-choice format, and your practice and experience with the chapter's multiple-choice quizzes can be beneficial.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. RNA Processing in a Eukaryotic Cell: Splicing of Introns & Exons
In this lesson, we'll explore the unique considerations for gene regulation in the eukaryotic cell. We'll walk through RNA splicing of introns and exons and the addition of the 5' cap and poly(A) tail.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Differential Gene Expression: Definition & Examples
In this lesson, explore the theory of differential gene expression and discover what it means in terms of how different cells are formed, how DNA is stored, and how to clone a sheep.
12. Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells: Uses, Origins & Properties
How can we grow a brand new windpipe? Or a heart? In this lesson, we'll learn about embryonic and adult stem cells and how scientists are using them to give people a new lease on life.
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.
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