This activity has undergone a peer review process.
This activity has undergone a peer review process by which submitted activities are compared to a set of criteria. Activities meeting or revised to meet these criteria have been added to the collection. To learn more about the review criteria, see [http://taste.merlot.org/evaluationcriteria.html]. More information about the peer review process can be found at [http://taste.merlot.org/peerreviewprocess.html].
This page first made public: Jan 16, 2007
This material was originally developed through Merlot
as part of its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.
This module introduces students to the basics behind translation of a messenger RNA sequence into protein. Students learn about reading frames, ribosomes, mRNA, tRNA, codons and anticodons.
In addition to text and movies, there are interactive shockwave animations that allow students to move ribosomes and tRNAs to perform translation. Both formative and summative assessment are also included.
Specific concepts they should master include:
Context for Use
These materials are broken into three types.
Read: students read a text accompanied by images and animations to get some background information on translation.
Interact: students use an interactive shockwave model of a ribosome, mRNA and tRNAs to perform a translation.
Practice: students are given assessment questions that allow them to practice what they have learned.
Description and Teaching Materials
The first link takes you to a site where the three activities are broken down into individual units. It also contains some additional interactive activities for the students.
The second link takes you to a single webpage with the materials incorporated directly into the page. It also contains practice problems for students to use, and a lecture for an introductory biology course based on translating the beta-hemoglobin gene in sickle cell anemia.
Teaching Notes and Tips
Both links contain summative assessment, in the form of practice problems with answers for the students. In the first link it is in the form of an on-line quiz, with feedback given for correct and incorrect answers. In the second link the problems are traditional exam style questions with answers given on a second link.
References and Resources
Click to view MERLOT descriptions of related shockwave and flash Translation animations.
Textbook like descriptions of translation with images.
DNA ( This site may be offline. )
A commercial site with interactive animations.
Lone animations (some do not show codons and anticodons)