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adenine (A)

One of four nitrogen-containing bases in nucleotides composing the structure of DNA and RNA


Three-base sequence in a transfer RNA molecule base that pairs with a complementary codon in mRNA.


Term that encompasses genetic engineering and other techniques that make use of natural biological systems to create a product or achieve a particular result desired by humans,


Three-base sequence in messengar RNA that causes the insertion of a particular amino acid into a protein, or termination of translation.

complementary base pairing

hydrogen bonding between particular purines and pyrimidines in DNA

cytosine (C)

One of four nitrogen-containing bases in nucleotides composing the structure of DNA and RNA; pairs with guanine

DNA fingerprinting

The use of DNA fragment lengths resulting from restriction enzyme cleavage to identify particular individuals.

DNA ligase

enzyme that links DNA fragments.

DNA polymerase

During replication, an enzyme that joins the nucleotides complementary to a DNA template.

DNA replication

Synthesis of a new DNA double helix.

frameshift mutation

Alternation in a gene due to deletion of a base, so that reading "frame" is shifted; can result in a nonfunctional protein.

gene mutation

a change in the base sequence of a gene

genetic engineering

Alternation of genomes for medical or industrial purposes.

guanine (G)

One of four nitrogen-containing bases in nucleotides composing the structure of DNA and RNA; pairs with cytosine

messanger RNA (mRNA)

type of RNA formed from a DNA template and bearing coded information for the amino acid sequence of a polypeptide

mRNA transcript

Faithful copy of the sequence of bases in DNA,


Agent, such as radiation or a chemical, that brings about a mutation in DNA.

point mutation

Alterantion in a gene due to a change in a single nucleotide; results of this mutation vary.

polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

Technique that uses the enzyme DNA polymerase to produce millions of copies of a particular piece of DNA.


String of ribosomes simultaneously translating of the same mRNA strand during protein synthesis.


In a operon, a sequence of DNA where RNA polymerase binds prior to transcription.

recombinant DNA (rDNA)

DNA that contains genes from more than one source.

restriction enzyme

Bacterical enzyme that stops viral reproduction by cleaving viral DNA.

ribosomal RNA (rRNA)

Type of RNA found in ribosomes that translate messenger RNAs to produce proteins.


Mucleic acid produced from covalent bonding of nucleotide monomers thaty contain the sugar ribose.


RNA and protein in two subunits; site of protein sythesis in the cytoplasm.

RNA polymerase

During transcription, an enzyme that joins nucleotides complementary to a DNA template.


Duplication of DNA resulting in two double helix molecules, each having one parental and one new strand.


Parental strand of DNA that serves as a guide for the complementary daughter strand produced during DNA replication.

thymine (T)

One of four nitrogen-containing bases in nucleotides composing the structure of DNA; pairs with adenine


the process whereby the DNA sequence in a gene is copied into mRNA

transfer RNA (tRNA)

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

transgenic organism

Free-living organism in enviroment that has a foregin gene inserted into it.


process by which a sequence of nucleic acids in RNA is used to direct the production of a chain of specific amino acids


the movement of a segment of DNA from one chromosome to another, which results in a change in the position of the segment; also the movement of soluble nutrients from one part of a plant to another


DNA sequence capable of randomly moving from one site to another in the genome

triplet code

during gene expression, each sequence of three nucleotide bases stands for a particular amino acid

uracil (U)

A pyrimidine base found in nucleotides of RNA.


Piece of DNA that can have a foregin DNA attached to it.

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