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Half Life of mRNA

Author(s): Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

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This module introduces exponential growth and decay in the context of understanding the stability of mRNA. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.


Student Introduction: Messenger RNA is transcribed as a complementary copy of DNA that will eventually be translated into an amino acid chain. mRNA travels from the nucleus to the cytoplasm for translation. Because mRNA is constantly being degraded in the cytoplasm, it is synthesized at a much higher rate than necessary for maintenance of a steady amount.

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