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What are the similarities between transcription and translation?

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Quick Answer

The main similarity between transcription and translation is that they are both important phases in the process of protein synthesis. Transcription is the copying of a DNA gene sequence into RNA, while translation is the conversion of an RNA sequence into a string of amino acids that becomes protein.

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The DNA code within cells contains instructions on how to build various types of proteins. The DNA is stored in a double-helix structure in chromosomes within cell nuclei. Because DNA strands are too large to leave the nucleus for protein building, an enzyme reads the DNA gene sequence for the protein and creates a copy called messenger RNA, or mRNA. The creation of the copy is the process of transcription.

Once the enzyme is finished creating the mRNA, the mRNA exits the nucleus to the cytoplasm to initiate the process of translation. Within a factory-like biological mechanism known as a ribosome, an organelle reads and translates the mRNA code. Transfer molecules transport amino acids to the ribosome, and as the RNA goes through the ribosome, the ribosome reads the code sequence three letters at a time and assembles the amino acid components into a protein chain. As the process concludes, the assembled protein emerges from the ribosome.

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