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describes a microorganism that causes disease and that is highly infectious; strictly, refers only to viruses that reproduce from the lytic cycle


the transfer of genetic material in the form of DNA fragments from one cell to another or from one organism to another


a virus that infects bacteria


in a nucleic-acid chain, a subunit that consists of a sugar, a phosphate, and a nitrogenous base


a five-carbon sugar that is a component of DNA molecules

nitrogenous base

an organic base that contains nitrogen, such as a purine or pyrimidline; a subunit of a nucleotide in DNA and RNA


a nitrogenous base that has a double-ring structure; one of the two general categories of nitrogenous bases found in DNA and RNA; either adenine or guanine


a nitrogenous base that has a single-ring structure; one of the two general categories of nitrogenous bases found in DNA and RNA; thymine, cytosine, or uracil

base pairing rules

the rules stating that cytosine pairs with guanine and adenine pairs with thymine in DNA, and adenine pairs with uracil in RNA

complementary base pair

the nucleotide bases in one strand of DNA or RNA that are paired with those of another strand

base sequence

the order of the nitrogenous bases on a chain of DNA

DNA replication

the process of makinf a copy of DNA


an enzyme that separates DNA strands

replication fork

a Y-shaped point that results when the two strandes of a DNA double helix separate so that the DNA molecule can be replicated

DNA polymerase

an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of the DNA molecule

semi-conservatice replication

in each new DNA double helix, one strand is from the original molecule,and one strand is new


a change in the nucleotide-base sequence of a gene or DNA molecule


a natrual polymer that is present in all living cells and that plays a role in protein synthesis


the process of forming a nucleic acid by using another molecule as a template; particulary the process of synthesizing RNA by using one strand of a DNA molecule as a template


the portion of protein synthesis that takes place at ribosomes and that uses the codons on mRNA molecules to specify the sequence of amino acids in polypeptide chains

protein synthesis

the formation of proteins by using information contained in DNA and carried by mRNA


a five-carbon sugar present in RNA

mRNA (messenger RNA)

a single-stranded RNA molecule that encodes the information to make a protein

tRNA (transfer RNA)

an RNA molecule that transfers amino acids to the growing end of a polypeptide chain during translation

RNA polymerase

an enzyme that starts (catalyzes) the formation of RNA by using a strand of a DNA molecule as a template


a nucleotide sequence on a DNA molecule to which an RNA polymerase molecule binds, which initiates the transcription of a specific gene

termination signal

a specific sequence of nucleotides that marks the end of a gene

genetic code

the rule that describes how a sequence of nucleotides, read in groups of three consecutive nucleotides (triplets) that correspond to specific amino acids, specifies the amino acid sequence of a protein


in DNA, a three-nucleotide sequence that encodes an amino acid or signifies a start signal or a stop signal


a region of tRNA that consistsof three bases complementary to the codon of mRNA


the complete genetic material contained in an individual

rRNA (ribosomal RNA)

an organelle that contains most of the RNA in the cell and that is responsible for ribosome function

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