What you’ll learn to do: Identify the central dogma of life
As you have learned, information flow in an organism takes place from DNA to RNA to protein. DNA dictates the structure of mRNA in a process known as transcription, and RNA dictates the structure of protein in a process known as translation. This is known as the Central Dogma of Life.
Does the Central Dogma always apply?
Scientists are always experimenting and exploring within their current understanding of the world. As they learn and discover new things, their ideas and understanding change to reflect the new evidence they have before them.
With modern research, it is becoming clear that some aspects of the central dogma are not entirely accurate. In order to flesh out our understanding, current research is focusing on investigating the function of non-coding RNA. Although this molecules does not follow the central dogma it still has a functional role in the cell.
Identify the central dogma of life
As you have learned, information flow in an organism takes place from DNA to RNA to protein:
- DNA is transcribed to RNA via complementary base pairing rules (but with U instead of T in the transcript)
- The RNA transcript, specifically mRNA, is then translated to an amino acid polypeptide
- Final folding and modifications of the polypeptide lead to functional proteins that actually do things in cells
This is known as the Central Dogma of Life, which holds true for all organisms.
Check Your Understanding
Answer the question(s) below to see how well you understand the topics covered in the previous section. This short quiz does not count toward your grade in the class, and you can retake it an unlimited number of times.
Use this quiz to check your understanding and decide whether to (1) study the previous section further or (2) move on to the next section.