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Genes and Proteins

Investigation 1 – PostLab









Note: Questions marked with a triangle (∆) are included to enrich your understanding. These questions do not appear in your SDR but should be used as additional discussion points during the PostLab.

  • After student groups complete the Investigation, review the transfer of information from DNA to RNA to protein that was modeled in the Investigation.
  • Think about whether you have understood the basic concepts of the Investigation. Answer the following questions.
  •  How are proteins different from DNA and RNA? 
  • ∆ Each gene encodes for a single protein. Genes are made of DNA. How does the information in DNA get converted to proteins? 
  • ∆ What role does RNA play in the cell? 
  • ∆ How does the cell know which amino acids to place in a protein? 

  • Discuss the impact of mutations in DNA on the structure and function of proteins.
  • Think about the sequences of the four different DNA mutations and the original sequence. How do they compare to one another and to the original sequence? How are they similar and how are they different?
  • Think about the sequences of the mutant proteins and the original protein’s sequence. Compare the five sequences to each other. How are they similar and how are they different?
  • ∆ How can mutations in DNA cause changes in protein function? 
  • ∆ Do mutations in DNA always cause a change in amino acid sequence? 

  • How does the data that you collected in the Investigation fit together? Review your data and answer the following question:
  • Can a change in the amino acid sequence of a protein change the function of the protein? Explain your answer. 


Complete the Focus Questions in your SDR then discuss them as a class. 

  • How does DNA control the functions of an organism? 
  • Can mutations in DNA cause changes in an organism? Explain your answer.