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Translation, Reading the DNA Code (The hands-on LEGO version)

In the cytoplasm of the cell the ribosome acts like a workbench for the translation of the DNA code. The tRNA molecules bind to the mRNA strand if their 3 letter codes match. The tRNA molecules arrive towing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. The amino acids join to form a protein chain and in the last step, the protein folds into its final shape.

Here you see that the protein folds up into a short helix. Next, four of these folded proteins can create a channel protein in the cell membrane (yellow circles). These four protein chains have hydrophobic amino acids (yellow) around the outside edges. The hydrophobic amino acids orient the proteins towards the lipid molecules in the membrane. The pore or channel in the center (darkest area) allows ions to enter the cell.

Find out more on the Science Builders website.

This activity is a facilitated school program for high school students at the MIT Museum.

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MIT Museum

MIT Museum

Category: Education | Updated over 2 years ago

January 30, 2008 13:07
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