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Lecture 1

BIOL 243 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Non-Coding Rna, Heredity, Chaperone Dnaj


Department
Biology
Course Code
BIOL 243
Professor
Gordon Chua
Lecture
1

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[THEME 1A Molecular Genetics and DNA]
Molecular Genetics studies the function of genes (+ their alleles) and proteins. We observe
their mechanisms - how they work, how they are passed on, and how variation ends up
occurring.
Genes, Genotype and Phenotype
Genes are sequences of DNA that act as the functional unit of genetic heredity and it's
resulting variation. Each gene results for a specific trait. Variations of each gene are
called alleles, and variation results in diverse phenotypic traits. The genome is the
entire set of DNA, which contains all of the information required to build an organism
(this is what's found in genetic sequencing).
Example: For a gene eye color, one allele codes for blue eyes while another allele codes
for green eyes.
The gene doesn't code for the phenotype, but for the RNA. Genes get transcribed to
mRNA, then mRNA translates the information into proteins. Also, mRNA IS THE ONLY
CODING DNA, ALL OTHER RNA IS NON-CODING RNA. Coding RNA = translates into
proteins
Recall genotype refers to the specific genes inherited and
phenotype refers to the resulting visible traits.
To understand how type/amount of proteins and RNA's determines phenotype, we
must identify all the genes in the genome.
Gene expression
Gene expression is "turning on" a gene so that RNA can be produced. It can also be
defined as the process of converting genetic information into functional proteins and
RNA.
Protein expression
Protein expression translates mRNA into polypeptides (chains of amino acids) which
then fold into proteins.
Proteins ultimately determine the phenotype of the cell because they control all
biochemical reactions. There are structural proteins which maintain cell shape and
integrity, and signaling proteins which deal with hormone and receptor processes.
Gene expression affects protein expression which determines how the protein is used
We share 99.5% of our DNA with other humans.
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