Central Dogma – Mini Wiki 1

What better way to start off the mini wiki series than with the central dogma. The central dogma effectively means the big idea. The central dogma in biology relates to the fact that each gene in the DNA molecule carries the information needed to construct one protein, which, acting as an enzyme, controls one chemical reaction in the cell (1). This sounds complicated but with a couple of pictures it becomes easier. You can always skip down to the 5 things you need to know if you want the quicker version.

Central_Dogma-GODS-wikimedia
Figure 1: The central dogma in a diagram

What is the central dogma?

256px-Central_Dogma_of_Molecular_Biochemistry_with_Enzymes
Figure 2: Basics of Central Dogma

It looks a bit like in figure 1(2). Its a principle that says the in each gene of a DNA molecule carries enough information to construct 1 protien. When this protien acts as an enzyme this enzyme controls one chemical reaction in the cell. It is a principle that works throughout molecular biology.

Who created the central dogma?

In short Francis Crick. My biology teacher told me at A level you should never forget the names Watson and Crick. They were the ones who discovered the structure of DNA. Crick is known as stating the central dogma in 1956 (3).

What are the stages?

There are three stages to the central dogma. I won’t go into too much detail about each of these stages now.

The first stage is replication of DNA. This occurs in the nucleus where the DNA is kept and uses  DNA polymerase as an enzyme.

The second stage converts DNA into RNA. This stage is called transcription and also occurs in the nucleus. It uses RNA polymerase as the enzyme.

The third stage converts the RNA into a protien. This stage is called translation. It happens outside of the nucleus in the cytoplasm on a ribosome.

5 Things You Need To Know About The Central Dogma

  1. It is the chemical process that turns the genetic information of DNA into proteins.
  2. It was first created by Francis Crick in 1956
  3. The three stages of the central dogma are replication, transcription and translation.
  4. DNA polymerase is an enzyme used in the replication stage
  5. Transcription occurs in the nucleus and translation occurs in the cytoplasm of cells at ribosomes.

Sources

(1)http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/central-dogma-of-molecular-biology?jss=0

(2)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Class/MLACourse/Modules/MolBioReview/central_dogma.html

(3)http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/SC/B/B/F/T/_/scbbft.pdf

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