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Transformation

Process in which one strain of bacteria is changed by a gene or genes from anther strain of bacteria.

Bacteriophage

Virus that infects bacteria.

Nucleotide

Monomer of nucleic acids made up of a 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base.

Base Pairing

Principle that bonds in DNA can form only between adenine and thymine and between guanine and cytosine.

Chromatin

Granular material visible within the nucleus; consists of DNA tightly coiled around proteins.

Histone

Globular protein molecule around which DNA is tightly coiled in chromatin.

Replication

Copying process by which a cell duplicates its DNA.

DNA Polymerase

Enzyme that "proofreads" new DNA strands, helping to ensure that each molecule is a nearly perfect copy of the original DNA.

Gene

Sequence of DNA that codes for a protein and thus determines a trait.

Messenger RNA

RNA molecule that carries copies of instructions for the assembly of amino acids into proteins from DNA to the rest of the cell.

Ribosomal RNA

Types of RNA that makes up the major part of ribosomes.

Transfer RNA

Type of RNA molecule that transfers amino acids to ribosomes during protein synthesis.

Transcription

Process in which part of the nucleotide sequence of DNA is copied into a complementary sequence of RNA.

RNA Polymerase

Enzyme similar to DNA polymerase that binds to DNA and separates the DNA strands during transcription.

Promoter

Region of DNA that indicates to an enzyme where to bind to make RNA.

Intron

Intervening sequence of DNA; does not code for a protein.

Exon

Expressed sequence of DNA; codes for a protein.

Codon

three-nucleotide sequence on messenger RNA that codes for a single amino acid

Translation

decoding of a mRNA message into a polypeptide chain

Anticodon

group of three bases on a tRNA molecule that are complementary to an mRNA codon

Mutation

change in a DNA sequence that affects genetic information

Point Mutation

mutation that affects a single nucleotide, usually by substituting one nucleotide for another

Frameshift Mutation

mutation that shifts the "reading" frame of the genetic message by inserting or deleting a nucleotide

Polyploidy

condition in which an organism has extra sets of chromosomes

Operon

group of genes operating together

Operator

region of chromosome in an operon to which the repressor binds when the operon is "turned off"

Differentiation

process in which cells become specialized in structure and function

Hox Gene

series of genes that controls the organs and tissues that develop in various parts of an embryo

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