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Unit 17: Central dogma (DNA to RNA to protein)

About this unit

How does a gene in your DNA provide instructions for building a protein? In gene expression, a DNA sequence is first copied to make an RNA molecule, which is then "decoded" to build a protein. Learn more about this remarkable process, shared by all living things.

Check your understanding of the central dogma of molecular biology (how genes are expressed)!


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Transcription is the first step in gene expression. It involves copying, or transcribing, the DNA sequence of a gene into the similar "alphabet" of RNA nucleotides. Learn more about this crucial cellular process.
In translation, the nucleotide sequence of an mRNA is "decoded" to specify the sequence of amino acids in a protein. Learn more about the steps of this process and the molecules that carry it out.