CURRENT BIO: Study Guides for DNA structure and function

AnchorLook here for what you should know!

DNA Structure (Quiz date: Friday 2/5/2016)

DNA Replication (Quiz date: 2/12/2016)

Protein Synthesis (Quiz date(s): small chunks spread out over week of 2/9/15)

AnchorDNA Structure Quiz - short    Quiz Date:  February 5, 2016 


  • DNA is a type of nucleic acid.
  • DNA is a polymer.
  • The monomer of a nucleic acid is a nucleotide.
  • nucleotide is made of a 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogen base.
  • There are two types of ribose sugars:  ribose and deoxyribose.  Deoxyribose sugar has fewer oxygen atoms than ribose sugar. 
  • Deoxyribose is the sugar found in DNA.  Ribose is the sugar found in RNA.
  • The DNA molecule is shaped like a double helix or twisted ladder; the sides of the ladder are sugar-phosphate backbones while the rungs/steps of the ladder are nitrogen base pairs.
  • DNA has a sugar-phosphate backbone.
  • Sugars and phosphates are joined to each other with strong covalent bonds
  • Sugars and nitrogen bases are joined to each other with strong covalent bonds.
  • Nitrogen bases are joined to complementary nitrogen bases with weak hydrogen bonds.
  • There are four nitrogen bases in DNA: Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine.
  • In RNA, there is no T (thymine).  U, (uracil) is used instead.
  • Base pairing is always specific: A always pairs with T(or U in RNA) and C always pairs with G.
  • Base pairing is always specific: A – T and C – G  (A – U in RNA)
  • Purines are double-ringed nitrogen bases; pyrimidines are single-ringed nitrogen bases.
  • Purines (double-ringed bases) always pair with a pyrimidine (single-ringed base).
  • Adenine and Guanine are purines; Cytosine and Thymine (and Uracil) are pyrimidines.
  • DNA is unique.


  • Structure allows function. (Shape matters)
  • DNA is unique, complex and reproducible.
  • DNA is a code.
  • Sexually reproducing organisms inherit DNA through gametes from each parent.
  • Enzymes help all life processes.


  • Identify/list/state parts of DNA when given words
  • Identify/list/state parts of DNA when given diagrams
  • Compare and contrast the components and bond types in DNA and nucleotides
  • Distinguish between correct and incorrect combinations in nucleotide components
  • Recall basic DNA facts
  • State at least two differences between DNA nucleotides and RNA nucleotides


B2.2B       Recognize the six most common elements in organic molecules (C, H, N, O, P, S).

B2.2C       Describe the composition of the four major categories of organic molecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids).

B2.2D       Explain the general structure and primary functions of the major complex organic molecules that compose living organisms.

B2.3g        Compare the structure and function of a human body system or subsystem to a nonliving system (e.g., human joints to hinges, enzyme and substrate to interlocking puzzle pieces).

B4.2C       Describe the structure and function of DNA.

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AnchorDNA Replication Quiz - short  


KNOW that DNA is replicated through a series of steps involving enzymes, and that the process is semi-conservative.  Know the steps, enzymes and key points of the process.

UNDERSTAND  that DNA replication allows us to have the identical DNA in all cells AND the same amount of DNA in all our cells.

DO  construct a model of DNA replication and demonstrate the formation of two new, semi-conservative strands


On this quiz, ALL information from the previous quiz is fair game.

In addition, this information should be known, understood and able to be explained by students.  

  1. How does DNA replicate? 
  1. What happens first? ("Step 1")
  2. What enzymes are involved and what do they do?
  3. What types of bonds are involved, and are they broken or formed?
  1. What happens next? ("Step 2)
  2. What enzymes are involved and what do they do?
  3. What types of bonds are involved, and are they broken or formed?
  1. What happens next? ("Step 3")
  2. What enzymes are involved and what do they do?
  3. What types of bonds are involved, and are they broken or formed?
  1. Be able to understand and use basic terminology and terms, including: semi-conservative, anti-parallel, discontinuous, lagging, replicate, template, complementary
  2. Be able to name and describe the job of three basic enzymes in DNA replication: Helicase, Polymerase, Ligase.
  3. Be able to list the basic steps of DNA replication from memory.
  4. Explain why DNA must be copied (so our cells have identical DNA and the right amount of DNA)
  5. Explain why there are two colors used in our foldable model of DNA replication.
  6. Explain how the polymerase enzymes know which nucleotide to plug in to the unzipped DNA strand.
  7. What do 5' and 3' mean when referring to DNA strands?
  8. Explain how the one-way replication enzymes accomodate for the anti-parallel (2-way) nature of DNA.
  9. Explain two reasons Okazaki fragments exist.
  1. Anything else on the foldable or discussed in class!

Videos specific to replication can be found partway down this page of my website

AnchorProtein Synthesis Quiz

1.      What is the name of the process of making proteins?

2.      What are the two steps in the process of making proteins?

3.      What 5 things are true about all proteins?

4.      What is the monomer of a protein?

5.      For each of the following processes, state the product (what is made). 

Protein synthesis à _____________; Transcription à ______________; Translation à  ______________

6.      What are the starts and ends of translation?

7.      What are three things similar about DNA and RNA?

8.      What are three differences between DNA and RNA?

9.      When a protein is made, what steps happens in the nucleus, and what is made?

10.  What part(s) of protein synthesis involve(s) DNA?

11.  What part(s) of protein synthesis involve(s) RNA?

12.  What are the three types of RNA?

13.  Describe the location, shape, and job of each of the three RNAs.

14.  Give an example of why the structure/shape of a molecule is important to its function.

15.  Which type(s) of RNA is/are found in the cytoplasm?

16.  Which type(s) of RNA interact(s) directly with DNA (same place, same time)?

17.  Which type(s) of RNA do/does NOT code for genetic information?

18.  Where are ribosomes found?

19.  Describe what happens in transcription using 4 steps.

20.  How many amino acids are there?

21.  How many types of tRNA are there?

22.  How many nucleotide (bases) are in a codon?

23.  What kind of bonds hold amino acids together?

24.  How many bases are in one codon?

25.  What is the complementary anticodon to GAU?

26.  What amino acid does AAG code for?

27.  How many different codons will get you proline?  What are they?

28.  If your mRNA is GGC, what amino acid will you get?

29.  If your DNA is GGC, what amino acid will you get?

30.  When does protein synthesis stop?


Use the diagram to answer these questions.

[diagram not available for upload, but student should be familiar enough with process to answer the questions about an unlabeled diagrams]

  1. What process does the diagram above represent?
  2. Where does this process take place?
  3. What is the name of Item 1 in the picture above?
  4. Where was Item 1 before the events in this picture took place?
  5. What is the general name for a set of three bases like those shown in Item 2 or 4? 
  6. What amino acid does the set of bases in Item 2 code for?
  7. What three bases are hidden by Item 4?  Hint: you can tell what letters are there by what letters are about to attach to them.
  8. What is the name for a set of three bases like in Item 3?
  9. What is the structure in Item 5 called?
  10. What type of molecules are Leu, Ala and Asp (shown in Item 7)?
  11. What should be in the box labeled 6 (specific name please)?
  12. When does this process stop?
  13. What is the final product of this process?
  14. Where are the ribosomes in this diagram (or are they not shown)?

Other study hints:

Refer to notes and class activities.


moleculeStructure (shape, key features)Function (job)Location in the cell where it does it jobTranscription, translation, both or neither?