a: A ribosome ~
b: A vice combined with a welding torch

What: A ribosome provides a location within a cell with the spacial orientation to facilitate the conversion of individual amino acids into peptides. The correct peptide sequence is derived from mRNA. The energy for the addition of each amino acid is contained in an activated peptide attached to a tRNA molecule. The large scale mechanical analogy of this would be a vice holding pieces of pipe together so that they can be fused together with a welding torch.

Writer: mattyflynn
Date: Jul 20 2010 6:28 AM

By Dr. Meades on 2017-February-18

Topic: Ribosome analogy

While I appreciate the use of analogy to explain the function of the ribosome much like a vice, the welding torch reference falsely implies that the ribosome imparts the energy for the peptide bond synthesis, as stated in your summary. Perhaps a better substitute along this cursory level of detail would be a machine that assembles red-hot molten glass globes, fusing them before they cool. Herein, as in the case of aminoacyl-tRNAs, the energy of fusion is brought to the vice (ribosome) by the substrates themselves, the hot glass.


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