How the life begings by Ethan Bier

By Ethan Bier

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The basic question is, How does a sequence of only four different DNA bases in a gene direct the synthesis of a protein chain comprising 20 different amino acids? This paradoxical problem once led biologists to conclude that DNA could not be the genetic material because it was structurally too simple to encode chemically more complex proteins. The solution to this “coding” problem is that each amino acid is specified by a combination of three contiguous bases. The code relating the sequence of bases in RNA to the sequence of amino acids in a protein is referred to as the genetic code.

This view of development as a progressively hardening plastic leads to two key questions: (1) How are differences in gene expression generated during development? (2) How do differences in gene expression alter the developmental potential of cells? One important mechanism by which cells acquire and maintain distinct developmental potentials is by communicating with one another. Cellular communication may create a difference between initially equivalent cells, or it may exaggerate subtle preexisting differences between two cells.

As shown in this and subsequent chapters, there are several reasons to clone a gene. One great benefit of cloning a gene is that one can determine its DNA base sequence. Knowing the DNA sequence of a gene, in turn, permits deduction of the amino acid sequence of the protein product of that gene using the universal genetic 1. Isolate total genomic DNA from files Chromosome 1 Chromosome 2 Chromosome 3 Chromosome 4 Gene of interest 2. Fragment genomic DNA Fly DNA fragments in a test tube 3. Make genomic library Insert genomic DNA into plasmids Transfer plasmid DNA to bacteria Grow colonies of bacterial clones 4.

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