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  • Cystic Fibrosis Mechanism and Treatment

    Cystic Fibrosis Mechanism and Treatment

    Animations

    (2 min 31 sec) Mutations in the CFTR gene, which encodes a transmembrane ion channel, cause mucus buildup in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis.

  • How We Get Our Skin Color

    How We Get Our Skin Color

    Animations

    (3 min 32 sec) This engaging animation shows how human skin cells produce the pigment melanin, which gives skin its color. 

  • Seeing Single Molecules Move

    Seeing Single Molecules Move

    Animations

    (1 min 40 sec) Single-molecule analysis using super-resolution microscopes reveals that transcription factors are not usually found bound to their binding sites on DNA.

  • Autism and the Structure and Function of Synapses

    Autism and the Structure and Function of Synapses

    Animations

    (2 min 3 sec) Genes associated with autism affect the structure and function of neuronal synapses.

  • Gleevec-Resistant Form of Kinase BCR-ABL

    Gleevec-Resistant Form of Kinase BCR-ABL

    Animations

    (2 min 14 sec) Mutations in the BCR-ABL gene can cause resistance to Gleevec, but another drug, dasatinib, can be used instead.

  • Gleevec Inhibits Cancer-Causing Kinase BCR-ABL

    Gleevec Inhibits Cancer-Causing Kinase BCR-ABL

    Animations

    (3 min 31 sec) The drug Gleevec binds to and inactivates BCR-ABL, a mutant kinase that causes chronic myeloid leukemia. 

  • Natural Selection of Lactose Tolerance

    Natural Selection of Lactose Tolerance

    Animations

    (46 sec) Environmental and cultural factors can affect whether a new human mutation becomes common in a population.

  • Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Transcription

    Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Transcription

    Animations

    (2 min 5 sec) General transcription factors, activators, and repressors interact to regulate the transcription of eukaryotic DNA into RNA.

  • Dengue Virus Life Cycle

    Dengue Virus Life Cycle

    Animations

    (4 min 12 sec) Dengue virus has sophisticated mechanisms for entering a cell, for replicating its RNA genome, and for translating proteins.

  • The Chemical Structure of DNA

    The Chemical Structure of DNA

    Animations

    (2 min 44 sec) DNA's chemical properties can be harnessed for a variety of biotechnology applications.

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

    Animations

    (54 sec) PCR is a standard laboratory technique that allows amplification of specific segments of DNA based on complementarity.

  • The LUX operon controls light production

    The LUX operon controls light production

    Animations

    (2 min 25 sec) A single transcription factor controls this operon, which contains five genes necessary to produce bioluminescence.

  • HIV life cycle

    HIV life cycle

    Animations

    (4 min 52 sec) How HIV infects a cell and replicates itself using reverse transcriptase and the host's cellular machinery.

  • Protease inhibitors

    Protease inhibitors

    Animations

    (1 min 6 sec) Protease inhibitors prevent maturation of viral proteins inside HIV particles.

  • AZT blocks reverse transcriptase

    AZT blocks reverse transcriptase

    Animations

    (1 min 46 sec) HIV's reverse transcriptase mistakes AZT for thymidine. Once incorporated, AZT stops reverse transcription.

  • Paintbrush Gene

    Paintbrush Gene

    Animations

    (49 sec) In two related Drosophila species, a so-called paintbrush gene is activated to "paint" the pigment on the body. In one species, an extra switch activates the gene, resulting in spotted wings.

  • Pitx1 Expression

    Pitx1 Expression

    Animations

    (55 sec) In the stickleback fish, pelvic-fin reduction resulted from changes in the regulatory switch elements of the Pitx1 gene. In the marine ancestor, the Pitx1 gene is activated in the pelvic-fin region during development to generate the fin. In the pelvic-reduced stickleback, the regulatory switch that normally turns on the Pitx1 gene is either missing or non-functional.

  • PPAR-gamma Activation in the Fat Cell

    PPAR-gamma Activation in the Fat Cell

    Animations

    (2 min 49 sec) The PPAR-gamma receptor activates certain genes in a fat cell, resulting in the storage of fat and changes in hormone levels.

  • Triplet code

    Triplet code

    Animations

    (1 min 8 sec) Once the structure of DNA was discovered, the next challenge was determining how the sequence of letters coded for the 20 amino acids. In theory, one or two letters can only code for 4 or 16 amino acids, respectively. A scheme using three letters, a triplet code, is the minimum necessary to encode for all the amino acids.

  • Translation (advanced detail)

    Translation (advanced detail)

    Animations

    (3 min 4 sec) Messenger RNA (mRNA) carries DNA's genetic information to the ribosome, where it is translated into a sequence of amino acids. mRNA is fed into the ribosome, and it is positioned so that it can be read in groups of three letters, known as codons. Each mRNA codon is matched against the transfer RNA molecule's anti-codon. If there is a match, the amino acid carried by the transfer RNA is added to the growing protein chain. Also available in Spanish.

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