What it it?
- the process that makes mRNA from the codes on the DNA template strand
- proteins cannot be made without first having a copy of a gene
- this process occurs in the nucleus
- RNA polymerase opens the DNA helix and is responsible for linking together the nucleotides to make the mRNA molecule

Transcription Animation
DNA must be in the form of chromatin in order for translation to occur. RNA polymerase unzips the helix and begins pairing complementary bases to the bases in DNA- adenine must now pair with uracil and cytosine must pair with guanine. This process occurs until the entire gene has been transcribed into mRNA, which will then leave the nucleus and head into the cytoplasm. Prior to RNA leaving the nucleus, however, it must be processed. This means that the introns (sequences of RNA that do not code for the protein) must be removed from the molecule and the exons (the sequences of RNA that code for amino acids) spliced back together. As an added protective measure, a cap is added to the "front" of the molecule and a tail is added at the end. This aids mRNA in being able to leave the nucleus and keeps it from being broken down by enzymes present in the cytoplasm.
Above image credited to:
RNA Processing Animation


What is it?
- making a protein at the ribosome based on the sequence of codons in mRNA
- proteins essentially run all cell functions and control the activities of a cell
- at the ribosome
- the ribosome provides a site where the codons on mRNA can be read and the tRNAs can bring the corresponding amino acids to be linked


Above image of the cell credited to:

1. Processed mRNA leaves the nucleus through the nuclear pore and enters the cytoplasm. Here it will interact with the subunits of a ribosome.
2. Once the two parts of the ribosome enclose the mRNA the process of translation can begin.
3. The ribosome begins reading the mRNA at the start codon (AUG).
4. tRNAs with the complementary anticodon to the codon on the mRNA will enter the ribosome and drop off their amino acids.
5. Two tRNAs will fit into the ribosome at one time. The tRNAs will leave the ribosome and have another amino acid attached to them by enzymes in the cytoplasm.
6. The translation process continues until the ribosome reaches a stop codon (UAA, UAG, UGA). These signal the end of the gene prior to the tail that was placed on the end of the mRNA molecule.
7. As the growing polypeptide chain begins to leave the ribosome and enter the cytoplasm it begins to fold into its secondary and tertiary structures (see the protein page).

Link to translation animation:
Translation Animation #2