Thursday, January 15, 2009

Molecular Biology in a few sentences...

Everything alive is made of cells. Cells are very small. If you grind up cells in a blender, you get three types of things: proteins, nucleic acids and lipids.

Muscle has lots of protein in it. Muscle is usually red in color. A steak from the supermarket is mostly muscle. People like to eat protein because it tastes good. Proteins are chains of amino acids.

Nucleic acids are the white fuzzy stuff in the picture on the left. Nucleic acids are chains of nucleotides. Nucleic acids store information like a book. Nucleotides are the letters in the nucleic acid book. The plan to build anything alive is in the nucleic acids of its cells.

There are many different kinds of lipids but most of them look like candle wax. Lipids won't dissolve in water. Some lipids when placed in water, make little hollow bags called vesicles.

Every cell in all living things has ribosomes which use the information in the nucleic acids to make different proteins. The ribosome is made of nucleic acids and proteins.

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