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  • RNA Polymerase
  • There are many different types of cells in eukaryotes. Skin cells, neurons, blood cells, and bone marrow, to name just a few. While each cell behaves differently, they all share the exact same genome. The reason that cells with the same genome can become different types of cells is because not all traits are equally expressed
  • Transcription factor binds to the Promoter Region
  • Transcription factor
  • What is being expressed
  • The science behind this uneven level of gene representation is relatively straightforward. Genes are in a default "off" state, and will not be expressed unless they are turned "on". In order to be exhibited, RNA Polymerase needs to be recruited to the gene.
  • RNA Polymerase synthesizes RNA, a polemeric molecule later used to create amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. RNA Polymerase can only bind to specified regions of a genome; otherwise, it has a weak affinity to DNA. Only 1% of DNA is supposed to be turned into RNA, so RNA Polymerase will only join genes it is instructed to. Otherwise, it would not only waste energy binding to noncoding DNA, but also fill us with chemicals that shouldn't be there. 
  • But what informs RNA Polymerase which DNA sequences it should interact with? Transcription Factors. But how does this work? Imagine that a company wants to create a phone that can be magnified using the pinching of the users fingers. 
  • Promoter Region
  • Gene
  • The CEO is the one that informs the executive manager what the vision is and demands that the team get to work on it, so a blueprint for the technology is created. Once the executive manager informs the assembly crew of the new job, the assembly line is forced to produce lots of new phones. 
  • The Promoter Region is the CEO, telling the Transcription factors, the executive manager, to produce the phone. The blueprints are the gene about to be transcribed, which the Transcription factor makes the assembly line create. The assembly line is RNA polymerase, which codes the gene into RNA. The number of people working at the assembly line represents the rate the gene is expressed. The resulting proteins are the finished phones. 
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