Study Guide

The Gene - "That Damned, Elusive Pimpernel" (Part Two) Summary & Analysis

Siddhartha Mukherjee
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Summary

Now that the form of DNA had been determined, scientists turned their focus to better understanding how it functions. How do genes manifest into physical traits? By studying bread molds, a scientist named George Beadle concluded that a gene carries information that encodes a protein which enables a metabolic or cellular function. However, the question remained of how the gene encodes that information to build a protein. In the mid-1950s, Jacques Monod and Francois Jacob suggested that an intermediate "messenger" molecule "was required for the translation of DNA into proteins (164). It was soon shown, through scientific experimentation, that the messenger molecule is RNA. RNA is a copy of a gene that moves "from the nucleus to the cytosol, where its message [is] decoded to build a protein" (166). It was later discovered that various combinations of the four bases...

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This section contains 683 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Gene Study Guide
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