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FRANCIS LEROY & MATHILDE VANSPEYBROUCK, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & MATHILDE VANSPEYBROUCK, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Silent mutation, animation. This is a mutation which does not cause the amino acid sequence of a protein to change. Prior to protein formation DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, red) is transcribed into messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid, green). DNA and RNA are made up of a chain of many small molecules, known as nucleotides. These nucleotides are read in groups of three, called codons. Each codon corresponds to a specific amino acid (blue), which is used by the cell to build a complete protein. The normal process is shown in the upper frame. In the lower frame a mutation has changed the codon UCG into the codon UCA. As both of these codons code for the amino acid lysine the structure of the protein is not altered.
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