The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.

Now this is a topic where I really love to let out some steam, the popular version that I was taught academically is erroneous to the extreme, for it goes “DNA makes DNA, DNA makes RNA, RNA makes Protein”, notwithstanding the fact that Howard Temin demonstrated, through the discovery of Reverse Transcriptase, that RNA can make DNA, but does this mean that the central dogma has been shown to be false? Only if one were to utilize the bastardized, dumbed down caricature of what the central dogma of molecular biology is.

At this juncture I want to introduce the abstract from Francis Crick’s original research paper in which he reiterated his statement of the Central Dogma, click the thumbnail for a larger view.

The implications of that are quite clear, the only interactions forbidden involve the transfer of sequential information in nature from Protein to nucleic acid or to another protein, which means that the Central Dogma accounts for not only the commonly occurring DNA —-> RNA —-> Protein paradigm but also a host of other documented exceptions that have been observed, without being falsified.

A list of allowed and forbidden interactions follows, again, click the thumbnail for a bigger image…

So the next time someone tells you that the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology states that “DNA makes RNA and RNA makes protein” I hope you will be well equipped to explain and demonstrate that they are wrong.



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