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Introduction to Genetics. Definition of “Genetics” Proteins Nucleic Acids The Central Dogma of Genetics Historical Perspective. A.Definition of “Genetics”. Genetics: Understanding how information for protein structure is transmitted, structured, and expressed

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Introduction to Genetics

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Introduction to genetics l.jpg

Introduction to Genetics

  • Definition of “Genetics”

  • Proteins

  • Nucleic Acids

  • The Central Dogma of Genetics

  • Historical Perspective


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A.Definition of “Genetics”

  • Genetics: Understanding how information for protein structure is transmitted, structured, and expressed

    • Transmission of genetic information during reproductive processes: Heredity

    • Structure of genetic information

    • Expression of genetic information


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B.Proteins

  • General properties

    • Composed of chains of amino acids

    • There are 20 different amino acids, each with distinctive chemical properties

    • A protein molecule may contain several hundred amino acids

    • Each different protein has its own order, or “sequence,” of amino acids

    • The correct sequence of amino acids is essential for the protein’s function


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B.Proteins

  • Functions

    • Enzymes: enzymes are biological catalysts that control almost every reaction in living systems

    • Cellular recognition and communication

    • Structural components of living cells


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B.Proteins

  • Levels of protein structure

    • Primary structure: amino acid sequence

    • Secondary structure: localized folding of a chain into regions of helix or sheet structure

    • Tertiary structure: folding of a single polypeptide chain into a three-dimensional structure

    • Quaternary structure: only in proteins with more than one polypeptide chain; Folding of more than one chain together


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C.Nucleic Acids

  • General properties

    • Composed of chains of nucleotides

    • There are 4 different nucleotides

    • A nucleic acid molecule may contain several thousands or millions of nucleotides

    • Each nucleic acid molecule has its own order, or “sequence,” of nucleotides

    • The correct sequence of nucleotides is essential for the nucleic acid’s function


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C.Nucleic Acids

  • Overall function.

    • The sequence of nucleotides in a nucleic acid molecule serves as a blueprint to encode the correct sequence of amino acids for a protein. The code for a specific protein is called a “gene.”

    • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): DNA molecules (chromosomes) serve as the “master blueprint” for all of the cell’s proteins. The DNA molecules are transmitted to offspring during reproduction.

    • Ribonucleic acid (RNA): RNA molecules serve as “working copies” of the genes for the proteins that the cell is making at any given time.


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D.Central Dogma of Genetics

  • DNA replication

  • Transcription

  • Translation


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E.Historical Perspective

  • Early ideas

    • Preformation vs. Epigenesis

    • Dispersive Information vs. Germ Plasm

  • Mid-1800s – Early 1900s:

    • Discovery and re-discovery of transmission genetics

  • Early 1900s – Mid 1900s:

    • Discovery of the structure of the genetic information

  • Mid 1900s – Early 2000s:

    • Mechanisms of genetic expression and regulation

    • Development of molecular genetics technology


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