Dear Grandma

Topics: DNA, Genetics, Gene Pages: 3 (1115 words) Published: April 16, 2013
Dear Grandma,
Hello, how are you? I hope your doing well, I really do miss you. First I think it is amazing that you found this genetic testing kit online, it does sound very interesting. I do want to explain to you how exactly DNA works. According to (Freudenrich, 2013) in order for cells to function in the body, protein needs to be made. DNA regulates a cells activity, and it is able to do this in two particular steps: Transcription, and Translation. Transcription is a process where there is a copy made of one gene within the DNA. Transcription made possible by an enzyme (which is more a complex protein that works to make a chemical change in the body). I hope this is understandable so far. This specific enzyme is called RNA polymerase, I know, there are a lot of complex names. Well, in order for the RNA polymerase to make mRNA (which is the copy) it has to first bind itself to this specific DNA sequence of the gene, which is called the promoter. This unwinds the two DNA strands, and uses one as a guide. It then matches new nucleotides (which a compound made up of a phosphate group, a sugar and a nitrogenous base.) with their complements on the DNA strand and binds them together to form a complementary copy of the original DNA strand which is now called mRNA. This sequence stops when it reaches a stop codon (which is basically a nucleotide that tells the process to stop). The next process is translation where ribosomes in cells manufacture proteins. The mRNA that was made is then decoded by these ribosomes in order to make a certain amino acid chain, which is called a polypeptide. This polypeptide will then become a protein.

Now that I have explained this, I should talk about how diseases can come about. In DNA, there could be an alteration of the sequences of bases. This alteration is called a mutation, which can cause a change in the DNA structure and therefore the way the proteins are being produced in the translation process. For example Grandma, one...
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