Molecules of Inheritance
DNA and Genes
DNA is made of four simple building blocks, yet it contains all of the information necessary to build an organism.
Get to know DNA, the molecule that holds the universal code of life.
Find out how the DNA code letters A, C, G, and T make a DNA molecule by building one yourself.
Take a look at genes, the instructions for building a body.
Introns, exons, and regulatory sequences: Examine the parts of a gene from "start" to "stop."
Put an end to these common misconceptions about DNA and Heredity.
DNA Day is April 25th. Check out the NHGRI DNA Day website.
RNA's chemical structure gives it the flexibility to take on a variety of shapes and functions.
Learn the essential roles of the three most plentiful types of RNA messenger, transfer, and ribosomal in the processes of transcription and translation.
Learn about some of the less-known roles of RNA.
The Central Dogma
The central dogma of molecular biology explains that DNA codes for RNA, which codes for proteins. DNA is the molecule of heredity that passes from parents to offspring. It contains the instructions for building proteins, which make up the structure of the body and carry out most of its functions.
See how cells "read" the information in a DNA sequence to build a protein, then build one yourself!
Walk through protein synthesis with this animated example.
See how cells interpret DNA sentences.
Learn how proteins form the foundation for all living things.
Explore the types of proteins and learn about their varied functions.
Mad Cow and Creutzfeldt-Jakob are examples of prion diseases. What makes them unusual, and why are they controversial?