The genetic information, stored in DNA base pairs, is first converted into messenger RNA molecules (mRNA) that are copies of the DNA genes. This process is called transcription. Regulation of transcription is performed by base sequences that represent transcription start and stop sites, called promoters and terminators. The messenger RNA molecules are then translated into the amino acid sequence of proteins by transfer RNAs (tRNAs) and ribosomes. The genetic code consists of codons, three-base-pair sequences that specify amino acids, as well as translation start and stop codons necessary to form proteins. As a result, changes in codons at the DNA level, mutations, can result in the incorporation of the incorrect amino acids into proteins. Proteins with altered amino acid sequences can malfunction and lead to a diseased phenotype. Finally, we also saw that gene activity can be turned on and off at the level of transcription by protein factors that can prevent or allow transcription.

Try This at Home: DNA Replication, Transcription, and Translation Game

With this game, we can graphically see how genes are copied, transcribed, and translated into protein. The purpose of this game is to faithfully replicate a piece of DNA and translate it into the correct protein sequence. It is written as a game involving a number of teams, but if you want to do this on your own, just don't check your sequence with the earlier sequence.

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