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A 30-Second Preview of OnScreen Gene Transcription


Firefox users go see it on YouTube


This short preview aims to give a glimpse at the high-quality animations and background material that OnScreen Gene Transcription contains.

At the start of the preview, the app has been paused after the first separation and unwinding of the two strands of DNA. Before resuming, responding to my tap of "Key" in the top bar, the app shows a labeled image of the DNA and RNA as modeled by the OnScreen Gene Transcription, with all molecules and chemical bonds indicated. Then I briefly show the Useful Stuff popover's table of contents and the beginning of its discussion of the DNA nucleotides.

When the animation is resumed, you see RNA nucleotides being paired with complementary DNA nucleotides in the construction of a hybrid RNA-DNA double helix. Unfortunately, there are still presentations of transcription that show the RNA being constructed as a two-D ladder. OnScreen Gene Transcription gets it right. Each step of the transcription process has substantial commentary available, as the preview illustrates. The animation can be set to pause automatically between key steps or to run until you pause it, which is the mode being demonstrated.

The app resumes and runs through the first separation of messenger RNA from the DNA template and the beginning of the DNA strands' reannealing. And that's the end of the preview.

The DNA strands and the messenger RNA are also represented linearly with GAT(U)C nitrogenous base identifiers below the model. Messenger RNA synthesis is seen there with the base pairing clearly indicated.

The DNA Polymerase enzyme that makes it all happen is represented there also, moving along the strands, with its highlight color changing as it acts to bring about different chemical reactions.

Hopefully, this brief look can give you a feel for how our simple model can be used to show in detail the essential steps taking place in gene transcription in an understandable, memorable, and enjoyable way.