Student Exploration: RNA and Protein Synthesis
Vocabulary: amino acid, anticodon, codon, gene, messenger RNA, nucleotide, ribosome, RNA, RNA polymerase, transcription, transfer RNA, translation Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.) 1. Suppose you want to design and build a house. How would you communicate your design plans with the construction crew that would work on the house? I would start off by creating a design plan. This would allow the construction workers to see exactly what I wanted. Cells build large, complicated molecules, such as proteins. What do you think cells use as their “design plans” for proteins? Cells use DNA for their design plan for proteins. Gizmo Warm-up Just as a construction crew uses blueprints to build a house, a cell uses DNA as plans for building proteins. In addition to DNA, another nucleic acid, called RNA, is involved in making proteins. In the RNA and Protein Synthesis Gizmo™, you will use both DNA and RNA to construct a protein out of amino acids. 1. DNA is composed of the bases adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). RNA is composed of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil (U). Look at the SIMULATION pane. Is the shown molecule DNA or RNA? How do you know? This molecule is representing DNA as there is no Uracil. 2. RNA polymerase is a type of enzyme. Enzymes help chemical reactions occur quickly. Click the Release enzyme button, and describe what happens. The RNA polymerase splits up the DNA into two nucleotides.
Activity A: Transcription
Get the Gizmo ready: • If necessary, click Release enzyme.
Introduction: The first stage of building a protein involves a process known as transcription. In transcription, a segment of DNA serves as a template to produce a complementary strand of RNA. This complementary strand is called messenger RNA, or mRNA. Question: What occurs during transcription? 1....