A Fashionable Snack

As my lab partners and I built our jellybean necklaces on Thursday, we were all suddenly very thankful that we did not control the transcription of RNA in our cells. The process was long, had multiple steps for errors to occur, and required a sufficient supply of patience and jelly beans. Given as many chances to go wrong as there are, and it’s quite surprising how accurate transfer of information from DNA to proteins is in our cells.As my lab partners and I built our jellybean necklaces on Thursday, we were all suddenly very thankful that we did not control the transcription of RNA in our cells. The process was long, had multiple steps for errors to occur, and required a sufficient supply of patience and jelly beans. Given as many chances to go wrong as there are, and it’s quite surprising how accurate transfer of information from DNA to proteins is in our cells. In my necklace, I used the following codon dictionary to translate to RNA sequence to protein.
  
Original DNA Sequence:

3′ tac aga cta tac atc tga taa aat acc aga atc tac gca ttt ata aga atc acc gta cga tga aga atc cta atc aca taa caa taa ttt atc cga aca acc atc 5′

First, the DNA sequence features a TATA box. This is a series of T and C bases that is not transferred to the RNA, but instead used to initiate transcription. Next, the TAC triple will become the AUG codon which triggers that start of amino acid translation at the ribosome. After the other sequences, the ATC triple will become the UAG stop codon to end the protein.

Resulting mRNA sequence:

5 ‘ (modified G cap) aug ucu gau aug uag acu auu uua ugg ucu uag aug cgu aaa uau ucu uag ugg cau gcu acu ucu uga gau uag ugu auu guu auu aaa uag gcu ugu ugg uag aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa 3′

The mRNA, though it mainly matches the DNA sequence, has a few add-ons. First, the modified G cap on the 5’ end protects the mRNA from being disassembled by various enzymes. The poly-A tail does the same thing, and its length corresponds with how the the mRNA can exist without begin broken down by enzymes in the cell

Resulting protein sequence: Met Ser Arg Met S. Thr Iso Leu Try Ser S. Met Arg Asp Tyr Ser S. Try His Ala Thr Ser S. Asp S. Cys Iso Val Iso Lys S. Ala Cys Try S.

Using S. to denote each stop codon and the first three letters from each amino acid, this would have been the sequence of the resulting acid. I chose to ignore all stop codons except for the final one, so that the entire sequence could be translated. However, after the first stop codon, the sequence would be finished and the translation would end.

My jellybean protein necklace:

  
The key I used is here as well, so that you can see the code behind this highly fashionable accessory:

  
P.S. I used the same color for both Cysteine and Lysine, which occurs only once, due to a shortage of colors.

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