Week 1 (lecture 1+2): Introduction to Genetics

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Karen Williams

BIOC15 - Genetics (Lecture 1+2 reading notes; Chapter 1) 1.2 Proteins: the functional molecules of life processes  Most properties of life came from proteins (chains of amino acids and fold into 3D structures) o Organisms grow from time to time (could be drastic -> metamorphoses) o Ability to move (animals walk and run; plants grow towards and away from light) o Metabolism: ability to use sources and energy and matter to grow (convert other substances into body masses) 1.3 Complex systems and molecular interactions  Biological system: any complex network of interacting molecules or groups of cells that function in a coordinated manner through dynamic signalling o Ie) human pancreas, community of animals 1.4 Molecular similarities of all life-forms  Many scientists believe that RNA was the first information processing molecular to appear  RNA is similar to DNA o Bases (G, C, A, U -> T for DNA) o Has the capacity to store, replicate, mutate and express information o Not as stable as DNA; functions as a intermediary from DNA to protein  RNA is like protein: o Able to fold into 3-D structures  All living organisms use the triplet groupings of the bases to encode for amino acids o Genes in one organism might be able to function fine in another related organism  Convergent evolution: features in organisms that developed independently o Ie) the eyes  Due to the similarities, model organis
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