IMAGES: Molecules in Motion

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Science  02 Dec 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5753, pp. 1401
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5753.1401a

A transfer RNA molecule hands off its amino acid to a growing peptide strand dangling from another transfer RNA. The relay is a key maneuver in protein synthesis, or translation. High school and college students can follow the steps of translation or zoom in on other biological processes at the Virtual Cell Animation Collection from North Dakota State University in Fargo. Playing at the site are eight narrated animations that show how protons trickling through the mitochondrial membrane power ATP synthesis, for example, and illustrate which segments get chopped out during mRNA splicing. Beginners who only need an overview of the action can click through the stills in the “First Look” sections. The “Advanced Look” options provide more details for upper-division college or grad students.

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