The Rosetta Stone: Slide Show
How the Instruction Set Is Read
The purpose of DNA as an instruction set is to build proteins. In order to do this, the information needs to be carried out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm where the amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) can be matched up to the genetic code. Each amino acid corresponds to a three-letter sequence of base pairs. A three-letter sequence of genetic-code is called a codon, as pictured in the first image.
The second image shows how the DNA molecule unwinds to create a single chained molecule called mRNA (or messenger RNA), which then travels out of the nucleus, taking the genetic message with it. Each codon (three-letter sequence) on the mRNA is then matched up with a tRNA molecule, building the amino acid chain.