How does DNA direct the cell to make proteins?How are these terms related to this process? amino acid, DNA, mRNA, nucleotides, nucleus, protein, ribosome and tRNA

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holsa | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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DNA has the instructions for making different kinds of proteins for your body. These proteins give you your unique characteristics and tell the cells in your body how to work. Both DNA and RNA fit into a group of molecules called nucleic acids.  Nucleic acids are made up of smaller subunits called nucleotides.

DNA is only found in the nucleus of cells; however, the proteins are only made outside of the nucleus at the ribosomes. In order to get a copy of the DNA's instructions out to the ribosomes, a copy of the DNA is made (through a process called transcription).  This copy of the DNA is called messenger RNA, or mRNA for short.

Once it is made, the mRNA leaves the nucleus and moves to the ribosomes.  It is at the ribosomes where the mRNA code is made into a protein through a process called translation. The mRNA code is "scanned" by the ribosome.  Another kind of RNA, called transfer RNA (tRNA), brings in the correct amino acids to make the protein according to the mRNA code.  (Amino acids join together in a long chain to make up a protein.)

To read more about nucleic acids and proteins, check the links below.

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