Genetic Glossary

A glossary of key vocab around the topic of genetics. Includes colour coding in a table format. 

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  • Created on: 01-04-14 18:47
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GENETIC GLOSSARY
Section Word Definition
14.1 DNA Deoxyribose nucleic acid. Shaped into a double helix,
very stable.
Degenerate Most amino acids have more than one codon.
DNA Helicase Acts on a specific region of the DNA strand and breaks
the hydrogen bonds to separate the two strands.
DNA Polymerase An enzyme that moves along the exposed base
sequences, creating a new complimentary strand as it
moves along.
mRNA Messenger R(replicated)NA.
tRNA Translator RNA
14.2 Transcription The formation of mRNA from DNA to replicate a gene.
RNA Polymerase Enzyme that makes a copy of the DNA by attracting
complimentary bases to the template strand it is
travelling down.
Pre mRNA Single strand complimentary to DNA. Contains all
introns but thymine is replace by uracil.
mRNA Spliced version of pre mRNA, loses introns so shorter.
14.3 Translation Translating mRNA to create a polypeptide chain bound
together by peptide bonds.
tRNA Single stranded, clover shaped. Translates mRNA to
create a polypeptide chain.
14.4 Nonsense mutation A base change results in a base coding for a stop codon.
Stops translation prematurely which results in a
dysfunctional protein.
Mis-sense mutation A base change results in a different amino acid being
coded for. Can cause drastic change but depends on the
function of the protein.
Silent mutation A base change results in the same amino acid being
coded for due to the degenerate nature of the triplet
code.
Deletion of bases A nucleotide is lost from the normal DNA sequence.
Causes a frame shift so the whole sequence is misread
and leads to a completely different polypeptide chain
created.
Proto-oncogenes Stimulate cell division through growth factors attaching
to a receptor protein on the CSM which activates relay
proteins to stimulate DNA replication
Tumour suppressor Slow down cell division to prevent the formation of
genes tumours.

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Totipotency The ability for a cell to be turned to any body cell which
is desired. Stem cells are an example which can become
specialised to any function.
15.2 Oestrogen Lipid soluble molecule which diffuses into a cell and
combines with the receptor to release the
transcriptional factor.
Receptor Complimentary to oestrogen, changes shape when
bound together, releasing the inhibitor and frees the
transcriptional factor.
Transcriptional factor Enters the cytoplasm of the nucleus and binds to specific
regions of DNA to stimulate transcription.…read more

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Restriction mapping Cutting DNA at different recognition sites to develop
how larger DNA strands are sequenced.
16.8 Genetic fingerprinting Determining how genetically similar two organisms are
by comparing introns from their DNA.
Core sequence A group of repeating introns.
Extraction Extract the DNA by separating it from the rest of the
DNA. Sample volume can be increased through the PCR.
Digestion DNA cut using restriction endonucleases to cut close to
groups of core sequences.
Separation Fragments of DNA are separated by gel electrophoresis.…read more

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