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  • 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.

  • DNA transcription (advanced detail)

    DNA transcription (advanced detail)

    Animations

    (1 min 55 sec) The process of copying DNA into messenger RNA (mRNA) is called transcription. Transcription factors assemble at the promoter region of a gene, bringing an RNA polymerase enzyme to form the transcription initiation complex. Activator proteins at the enhancer region of DNA then activate the transcription initiation complex. RNA polymerase unzips a small portion of the DNA and copies one strand into an mRNA molecule. Also available in Spanish.

  • DNA transcription (basic detail)

    DNA transcription (basic detail)

    Animations

    (1 min 55 sec) The first phase of the process of reading DNA information to make proteins starts with a molecule unzipping the DNA. The molecule then copies one of the strands of DNA into a strand of RNA, a close cousin of DNA. This process is called transcription. Also available in Spanish.

  • Enzymes That Are Not Proteins: The Discovery of Ribozymes

    Enzymes That Are Not Proteins: The Discovery of Ribozymes

    Clips

    (19 min 4 sec) Listen to past HHMI President Dr. Thomas Cech discussing his Nobel Prize-winning discovery of RNA's catalytic properties.

  • RNA Folding

    RNA Folding

    Animations

    (33 sec) Since RNA is single-stranded, it can fold upon itself and form structures that are protein-like in both appearance and functionality.