The Central Dogma of Biochemistry describes the flow of generic material through the processes of replication, transcription, and translation (Evolution News, 2011). DNA is stored and processed within the nucleus of almost every cell in the human body. When cells divide to create two duplicate “daughter” cells, the DNA must first be replicated and transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA) and then translated by ribosomal RNA (rRNA) into transfer RNA (tRNA) (Medeiros & Wildman, 2012).
The process of replication begins when the DNA double-helix splits in half and is copied by DNA polymerase forming two separate strands of identical DNA, one for each daughter cell (Wiley, 2013). Transcription is the process in which a single strand of mRNA is produced from the original double-stranded DNA molecule (Medeiros & Wildman, 2012). RNA polymerase reads a single strand of DNA and pairs each nucleotide with its RNA base-pair to form a single strand of mRNA. This heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA) is then spliced to leave only the segments that are coded for the final protein being produced resulting in the final version of mRNA (Medeiros & Wildman, 2012). mRNA then travels through the plasma membrane of the nucleus out into the cytosol, to the ribosomes where rRNA translates the mRNA into the specified proteins which travel via tRNA to carry out their cellular functions (Wiley, 2013). Replication, transcription, and translation occur in every nucleated cell of the human body, the exception being red blood cells. Mutations in the genetic material of a cell can lead to dangerous diseases due to either excess or insufficient production of specific proteins due to errors in the DNA, and thus RNA sequence.
Evolution News and Views. (2011). What is the Central Dogma, Exactly?. Retrieved from http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/12/the_central_dog054581.html
Medeiros, D.M. & Wildman, R.E.C.. (2012). Advanced Human Nutrition. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. ISBN: 9780763780395
Wiley. (2013). The Central Dogma of Biochemistry. Retrieved from http://www.wiley.com/college/boyer/0470003790/animations/central_dogma/central_dogma.swf