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Transcription (biology)

Process of copying a segment of DNA into RNA / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Transcription is the process of copying a segment of DNA into RNA. The segments of DNA transcribed into RNA molecules that can encode proteins produce messenger RNA (mRNA). Other segments of DNA are transcribed into RNA molecules called non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs).

Both DNA and RNA are nucleic acids, which use base pairs of nucleotides as a complementary language. During transcription, a DNA sequence is read by an RNA polymerase, which produces a complementary, antiparallel RNA strand called a primary transcript.

In virology, the term transcription may also be used when referring to mRNA synthesis from an RNA molecule (i.e., equivalent to RNA replication). For instance, the genome of a negative-sense single-stranded RNA (ssRNA -) virus may be a template for a positive-sense single-stranded RNA (ssRNA +).[clarification needed] This is because the positive-sense strand contains the sequence information needed to translate the viral proteins needed for viral replication. This process is catalyzed by a viral RNA replicase.[1][clarification needed]

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