Biology Analogy
A cell Los Gatos
The cell's nucleus Borders bookstore
DNA Cookbooks
Genes Recipes
Step 1: Transcription
You go to Borders. mRNA moves into the nucleus.
Copy a recipe… Transcribe the DNA…
…from ink on the page to bits in your laptop computer. …from the DNA molecule to mRNA.
Step 2: RNA Processing
Staying in Borders, you settle down with your laptop computer to edit the recipe. Pre-mRNA remains in the nucleus for RNA processing.
You add a personal title and ending to your recipe. A 5' cap and poly(A) tail are added to the mRNA.
You remove superfluous material and formatting from the middle of the recipe. Introns are removed and eliminated from the middle of the mRNA.
Step 3: Translation
You leave Borders with your edited recipe. mRNA leaves the nucleus.
You take the edited recipe home to your kitchen to make the casserole. mRNA finds a ribosome to make a protein.
The edited recipe is used as instructions for making a casserole. mRNA is used as the instructions for making a protein.