General Biology Activity

Using the DNA Code

Objectives

To transcribe the DNA code into mRNA, read the code (like rRNA does), and translate the code into words (proteins).

Materials

·         Set of tRNA anticodon cards

·         Code to translate (located in nucleus)

·         Sheet of paper for mRNA

·         Activity sheet

·         Pencils for all group members

Procedure

1. Assign jobs to each team member:

·         member 1: messenger RNA (will travel to the nucleus and transcribe the DNA code into RNA language)

·         member 2: ribosomal RNA (will read the code brought by mRNA to the tRNA)

·         members 3 and 4 (and possibly 5): tRNAs (will find the correct anti-codon card for each codon read by rRNA)

2. Messenger RNA takes a blank sheet of paper, travels to the nucleus and obtains a slip of paper with the DNA code for a sentence.

3. Without leaving the nucleus, mRNA transcribes the DNA code into RNA language (Remember that mRNA code is complementary to DNA code. Also remember to change all thymines in the code to uracils).

4. Messenger RNA travels back to the lab station (the ribosome), and hands the transcribed message to Ribosomal RNA.

5. Ribosomal RNA reads the code, three bases at a time, to the tRNAs.

6. Transfer RNAs find the correct anti-codon card for each codon as rRNA reads off the code (remember the anti-codon is complementary to the codon!)

Note: For groups with only three members, mRNA can become a tRNA at this point and help the tRNA find the anti-codon cards.)

7. Ribosomal RNA writes down the words as the tRNAs find the cards on the same blank piece of paper. (Note that this is NOT a real job of rRNA, but it makes the job go a little quicker to have rRNA help here.)

8. Once you have completed your sentence, have everyone in the group copy the sentence in the appropriate area of the lab.

9. Of course in a real cell, the ribosomal RNA doesn’t make silly sentences but proteins which are sequences of amino acids. Using the mRNA codon chart below, everyone in the group will translate the mRNA codons into the correct amino acids sequence and record them in the appropriate area of the lab.

10. Once you have completed your amino acid sequence, mRNA travels back to the nucleus to obtain another piece of code, transcribes it into RNA language, brings it back to rRNA and the entire process is repeated.

9. Repeat with new code until time is up. See how many sentences your group can translate correctly in the time allotted.


 

Sentence number __________          

mRNA codons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tRNA anticodons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Amino Acid Sequence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sentence number __________          

mRNA codons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tRNA anticodons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Amino Acid Sequence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sentence number __________          

mRNA codons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tRNA anticodons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Amino Acid Sequence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sentence number __________          

mRNA codons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tRNA anticodons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Amino Acid Sequence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Sentence number __________          

mRNA codons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tRNA anticodons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Amino Acid Sequence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sentence number __________          

mRNA codons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tRNA anticodons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Amino Acid Sequence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sentence number __________          

mRNA codons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tRNA anticodons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Amino Acid Sequence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sentence number __________          

mRNA codons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tRNA anticodons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Amino Acid Sequence

___________________________________________________________________________________________