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Molecular Genetics

Basic, Beyond Basic and Lab Terms

bacterial DNA one circular chromosome not surrounded by a nucleus, they may also have smaller rings of DNA called plasmids [B]
DNA (structure) double sided helix made of nucleotides containing a sugar, phosphate group and a base. Watson, Crick, Wilkins and Franklin contributed [B]
DNA (as a molecule of heredity) a variety of experiments determined that DNA, not protein, is the molecule of heredity. Griffith, Avery and Hershey-Chase contributed [B]
base pairing rule in DNA, Adenine (A) pairs with Thymine (T) and Guanine (G) pairs with Cytosine (C). In RNA, Uracil (U) is substituted for Thymine.[B]
transcription (location) the first step of protein synthesis takes place in the nucleus [B]
transcription (function) the first step of protein synthesis converts DNA code to mRNA code (m = messenger) [B]
translation (location) the final step of protein synthesis takes place at the ribosomes [B]
translation (function) the final step of protein synthesis includes mRNA --> tRNA --> polypeptide chain to eventually form a protein (t = transfer) [B]
point mutation addition, deletion or substitution of one base of DNA can result in no change, a different protein, or an incomplete protein [B]
genetic engineering general term for manipulation of DNA includes cloning, gel electrophoresis and transformation [B]
virus a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of a host and is not alive [B]
DNA vs. RNA 1) double sided, has the sugar deoxyribose and has the base thymine 2) single sided, has the sugar ribose and the base uracil [B]
eukaryotic DNA multiple linear chromosomes located in the nucleus (other DNA can be found in mitochondria and chloroplasts) [BB]
purines and pyrimidines 1) bases of DNA including adenine (A) and guanine (G) with a double ring structure 2) bases of DNA including thymine (T), cytosine (C) and uracil (U) with a single ring structure [BB]
types of RNA messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and RNA interference (RNAi) [BB]
gene regulation the process of switching genes on and off which determines which genes will be expressed at a given time (mechanisms vary between prokaryotes and eukaryotes) [BB]
gene expression a gene is expressed if it is currently coding for a protein product (involves regulatory genes, regulatory elements and transcription factors) [BB]
RNA polymerase reads the template DNA strand in the 3' to 5' direction and synthesizes complementary mRNA molecules [BB]
RNA processing Following transcription, pre-mRNA gains a poly-A tail, a GTP cap and introns are removed in preparation for translation [BB]
transduction, conjugation and transposition the horizontal acquisition of genetic material in prokaryotes 1) viral transmission 2) cell-to-cell transfer 3) movement of DNA segments within and between DNA molecules [BB]
cell differentiation structural and functional divergence of cells as they become specialized during a multicellular organism's development; dependent on the control of gene expression [BB]
codon three-nucleotide sequence of DNA or mRNA that specifies a particular amino acid or termination signal [BB]
viral replication duplication of a virus must take place within a host cell [BB]
retrovirus an RNA virus that reproduces by transcribing its RNA into DNA which lacks error checking mechanisms, allowing for a high rate of mutation and evolution (example: HIV) [BB]
DNA fingerprinting a test to identify and evaluate the genetic information (DNA) in a person's cells [Lab: DNA Fingerprinting]
restriction endonuclease an enzyme that recognizes and cuts up DNA (including that of certain phages) that is foreign to a bacterium [Lab: DNA Fingerprinting]
restriction site specific sequence on a DNA strand that is recognized as a "cut site" by a restriction endonuclease [Lab: DNA Fingerprinting]
gel electrophoresis separation of nucleic acids or proteins, on the basis of their size and electrical charge, by measuring their rate of movement through an electrical field in a gel [Lab: DNA Fingerprinting]
fragment migration in gel electrophoresis, short DNA fragments travel quickly and long DNA fragments travel more slowly [Lab: DNA Fingerprinting]
wells in gel electrophoresis, indentations in the gel that hold DNA and enzymes [Lab: DNA Fingerprinting]
micropipette a device that is used to deliver small volumes of liquid; usually in the range of 0.5 to 1,000 microliters [Lab: DNA Fingerprinting]
DNA stain in gel electrophoresis, a dye that causes DNA fragments in gel to become visible [Lab: DNA Fingerprinting]
transformation genetic alteration of a cell resulting from the direct uptake and incorporation of DNA (including recombinant DNA) from the surrounding area [Lab: Transformation]
pGLO an engineered plasmid which (among other genes) includes the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene that can transform organisms to fluoresce in UV light [Lab: Transformation]
plasmid a small ring of DNA that carries accessory genes separate from those of a bacterial chromosome [Lab: Transformation]
araC in the pGLO plasmid, a promoter region that regulates the expression of GFP only in the presence of arabinose [Lab: Transformation]
Bla in the pGLO plasmid, codes for the enzyme that causes resistance to ampicillin [Lab: Transformation]
ori in the pGLO plasmid, and other plasmid, the is origin or starting point of replication [Lab: Transformation]
GFP in the pGLO plasmid, codes for the production of the green fluorescent protein which fluoreses under UV light [Lab: Transformation]
heat shock brief exposure of bacteria to a hot water bath in order to disrupt the membrane and increase the chance of the uptake of plasmids [Lab: Transformation]
Created by: cfigueiredo