Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
Transcription is the process of making an RNA copy of a gene sequence. This copy, called a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule, leaves the cell nucleus and enters the cytoplasm, where it directs the synthesis of the protein, which it encodes.
Transcription is one of the fundamental processes that happens to our genome. It's the process of turning DNA into RNA. And you may have heard about the central dogma, which is DNA, to RNA, to protein. Well, transcription refers to that first part of going from DNA to RNA. And we transcribe DNA to RNA in specific places. The most popular places are those things that code for these protein-encoding genes. But there are a whole host of other RNAs that get transcribed, like transfer RNAs and ribosomal RNAs, that do other functions that are genomic as well.
Name: Elliott Margulies, Ph.D.
Occupation: Investigator, Genome Technology Branch; Head, Genome Informatics Section
Biography: Dr. Margulies develops bioinformatical approaches to identifying and characterizing regions of the human genome that are evolutionarily conserved across multiple species. The conservation of these sequences over millions of years of evolution is strong evidence that they play important roles in biology, such as coding for genes or functioning as regulatory elements. He has played an important role in advancing the goals of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (NISC) Comparative Sequencing Program. Dr. Margulies's group utilizes both high-performance computational analyses and laboratory-based high-throughput genomic methods to decipher the genetic information that confers biological function.