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Secret Codon


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    The Exploratorium

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Secret Codon

In this activity, "write" a secret message in genetic code as beads on a string. Learners use an amino acid codon table to determine the DNA sequences that correspond to the one-letter amino acid abbreviations that make up their secret word(s). Learners also use start and stop codons in their sequences and follow a color key for the bases. Learners can trade strands with a friend to see if they can decode their secret message.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:
Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • Pony beads (yellow, blue, red, green)
  • Cotton string
  • Amino acid codon table

Subjects


  • Life Sciences
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Human Genetics
      • DNA Structure and Function
      • Genetic Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Patterns
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and History

Informal Categories


  • Arts and Crafts

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Yu, Julie

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium, ©2008

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0610238
  • National Science Foundation, 0925383

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