Cognitive Science 170
Natural and Artificial Symbol-Using Systems

Name: _________________________


Question: (2-4 pages). Hand in a stapled-together printout on real paper.

1. Imagine that one base pair in the protein-coding part of the DNA sequence (not an intron, a promoter, or an enhancer) of a cell has been changed into a different base pair. Trace the effects of this change into the metabolic network of the cell in the following way: briefly describe how the changed base pair might effect transcription and translation (the molecular biological senses of these words), and then protein folding, and finally, function.

You must outline all the major stages by which a one-dimensional sequence of DNA symbol segments (bases) is transformed into a metabolic network of chemical reactions controlled by proteins and tell me a little bit about how and why proteins fold and how they function. Since you cannot possibly summarize all of modern molecular biology in 2 to 4 pages, and since I have not told you which gene was damaged, concentrate on the architecture of molecular information transfer and interpretation as you describe the major stages and parts and forces that are involved in each stage. You can ignore the details of transcriptional regulation. Say where tRNA's and ribosomes come from.

due by Mon, 11/13/06