Nucleic acids are polymers made up of nucleotide units, each of which contains a base, a sugar, and a phosphate unit. Nucleic acids come as either DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, or RNA ribonucleic acid and there are several types of RNA that are important in the process of protein synthesis. DNA contains the genetic code. DNA can be replicated to provide complete copies of that code for new cells and smaller copies of that genetic code, which contain just enough information to make a particular protein, can be made using messenger RNA in a process that is known as transcription. This messenger RNA is then used to create protein with a particular amino acid sequence in the ribosome with the help of transfer RNA and ribosomal RNA. All of these processes are catalyzed by enzymes generated by this same process. If you would like to see animations of the processes of DNA and RNA (replication, transcription, and translation), click here.
After you have reviewed the objectives for this lesson be sure to take the self quiz and, of course, check your answers to see how well you have done.
Distance Learning questions
Clackamas Community College