Traduccion (Translation)

Translation (or Taduccion in Spanish) is the second phase of Protein Synthesis. Last time, we learned about Transcription and the types of RNA. Today, we’ll learn how to convert the “language” of As, Gs, Cs, & Us to Amino Acids and proteins that your body actually “understands”, or uses.


The ‘Start Codon’, AUG, signals the beginning of Translation and where the Ribosome should start adding tRNAs.

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RNA & Transcription

Today in Biology we’ll start our last Unit of the semester… Protein Synthesis. Protein Synthesis is sometimes referred as the “Central Dogma” of Biology, meaning its the key idea. The key idea of protein synthesis is that DNA codes for our traits and that code is used to create proteins that actually are our traits. All other parts of biology either exist because of, or are incorporated with Protein Synthesis.

There are two major parts of protein synthesis:

  1. Transcription: Using DNA → to make RNA
  2. Transcription: Using RNA → to make Protein

Today we’ll be focusing on Transcription and the stuff it makes, RNA.

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Holy Mole-y

Yesterday, we started a lab with Cu/Fe. As a part of that lab, we’ll need to calculate how many moles of Cu/Fe were produced using the amount of grams of each. But what the heck is a Mole?

Moles are a unit of measurement, sort of like “a dozen”. The term “dozen” refers to 12 of any item. A “mole” is sort of the same. Moles are equal to 6.02 x 1023 atoms. Thats 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000… a lot of atoms. The real purpose of the ‘mole’ is to be able to do calculations of certain types of atoms, or between certain types of atoms. For example…

To calculate grams from moles we use the FACTOR LABEL method. Let me show you what I mean…

Lets say you weighed your sample and have 105.5 g Cu atoms (Its important to label your values this way for future use; we’ll always add the element and “atoms” after the unit) and we want to know how many moles that is. well what do we know…

105.5 g Cu atoms   ->   ??? mol g Cu atoms

Well… lets think about this. Do we know how many grams are in 1 mol Cu atoms so we have something to compare this to??? Let’s look at our handy-dandy periodic table; find Cu; the atomic mass listed there is equal to the weight of 1 mol Cu atoms!

1 mol Cu atoms
63.5 g Cu atoms

So lets put this value into our formula and see if we can make this work…

105.5 g Cu atoms   x  1 mol Cu atoms
1                                  63.5 g Cu atoms

We can cross out the “g Cu Atoms” units so the only unit remaining is “mol Cu atoms“. So…

105.5 x 1 mol Cu atoms       = 1.66 mol Cu atoms

___________Easy! When you go from grams to moles you DIVIDE BY THE ATOMIC MASS!_______________
But, what if I want to go from moles to grams??? EASY!!! MULTIPLY BY THE ATOMIC MASS!
What is the weight of 2.5 moles of Carbon atoms?

2.5 mol C atoms x 12.0 g C atoms  30.o g C atoms
1                           1 mol C atoms

Since, 1 mole of any element = atomic weight of that element, you can flip the equation to work for you! Since we have moles on the top left of the formula, we want moles on the bottom right so they can cancel out!

Now you can do the Grams to Moles Conversions Worksheet (found on semester 1 Docs).

Naming Binary Molecular Compounds

Up until now, we’ve always named bonds that included a metal cation bonding to either a non metal anion or a polyatomic ion. Bu what if we bond two non metals together? This is no longer an Ionic bond, this is a covalent bond. We call this group Molecular compounds!

Nonmetal + Nonmetal = Molecular Compound

When naming molecular compounds, we use prefixes to identify how many of each type of element are present in the compound.

  1. Mono *                 6. Hexa
  2. Di                            7. Hepta
  3. Tri                           8. Octa
  4. Tetra                      9. Nona
  5. Penta                    10. Deca

*The only time we vary from this is when there is only one of the first type of element we don’t add mono. For example, CO is Carbon monoxide, not Monocarbon monoxide.

The final rule for naming Molecular compounds is that the second element, when it is a nonmetal, the ending is changed to the suffix “-ide”. For example, Sulfur would be sulfide.

So for example, P4O10 would be Tetraphosphorus Decaoxide

Now you try! The problems and answer keys are available on the Chemistry: Semester 1 Page under Unit 4: Naming