What would be an analogy for transcription and translation?



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enotechris's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

The literal meaning of Transcription is to put thoughts, speech, or data into printed form. The word itself is from the Latin trans 'across' and scribere 'to write.' In biology, it refers to the synthesis of messenger RNA (mRNA) from a DNA template inside the nucleus of the cell. Similarly, Translation is to convert something from one form into another.  From the Latin, it literally means "to carry across."  In Biological terms, its the process by which the mRNA is "read" and translated into a sequence of amino acids, thus producing a protein.

An analogus process might be that of someone visually impaired reading a sentence of Braille, then writing down, in alphabetic script, the sentence just read.  Reading and writing hundreds of sentences in this manner could produce a book written in alphabetic script from a book that was once written in Braille.  In this example, the Braille text would act like DNA, feeling the Braille would act like mRNA, writing down a sentence of the alphabetic text would act like the fabrication of a new amino acid sequence, and the completed alphabetic book would act like the newly-manufactured protein.


apushstudent's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

One analogous that comes to mind is that you can think of Nucleotides and Amino Acids as characters in 2 different languages, and you to translate between the two.  For example you translate English to Spanish.  You can think of transcription as writing RNA in a different way than DNA is written.  For example writing the same message but one in pencil and the other in ink.  


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