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Differences Between DNA Replication and Transcription

dnaDNA Replication vs Transcription

DNA is the foundation of every life. It is the key to the very existence of how life continues. Producing children in a way that some characteristics are patterned from the parents, is some kind of magic. This is true with DNA replication and transcription, processes only this genetic code could perform.

Eukaryotes and prokaryotes have one or more DNA polymer molecule that is copy made, in order for the duplication process to take place. The success of DNA replication, also known as DNA synthesis, depends on how well the duplication proceeds. Eukaryotes are a group of organisms that have cells containing a nucleus. In these organisms, the basic structure of having two strands of DNA, is constituted by nucleotide units. The DNA Double Helix is arranged like two chains. With DNA replication, it is possible to separate the two strands to open the double helix, and copy the two strands. The end result is two new molecules of DNA. Cell division then takes place. When the daughter cell is produced, the copy of the parental DNA is found in its nucleus. The strands should be copied free from errors, and convey the information from the parent cells to the daughter cells.

There are three models in which a DNA replicates. The semi conservative, which is proven to be true among the three models, is where two new molecules are formed from both a complex of an old parental and daughter strand. The conservative model, is where the parent chains stayed together while a new DNA double helix from two daughter strands were formed. In dispersive, two DNA double chains were created, each having the parts of parent and daughter molecules. The speed of DNA replication in humans is approximately 50 nucleotides per second, per replication fork. It can be copied in a few hours, because of the many initiation sites of replication forks.

Transcription is similar to replication, but with different proteins concerned. Single, identically stranded RNA (Transfer RNA (tRNA), Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and Messenger RNA (mRNA)) in transcription, are developed from a fraction of double-stranded DNA. It is then followed by a translation step, with the production of a protein molecule as the end result. DNA serves as a template, with only one strand for RNA synthesis, and only a small portion survives the RNA processing. The other strand is the non-coding strand. The genetic information is transcribed from DNA to RNA by the enzyme RNA polymerase. Transcription takes place in the nucleus.


1. Replication is the duplication of two-strands of DNA. Transcription is the formation of single, identical RNA from the two-stranded DNA.

2. There are different proteins involved in replication and transcription.

3. In replication, the end result is two daughter cells, while in transcription, the end result is a protein molecule.

4. In transcription, DNA serves as the template for RNA synthesis.

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