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ETD 14: A. Draw + Explain how the trp Operon operates.
October 10, 2013 at 11:48am


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Brett Babbel
October 10, 2013 at 9:38pm

Parent Response: Learned that the body is very complex and confusing especially how we break down simple sugars. Learned that proteins are special because they can change their shape.That the surrounding of the DNA effects how the DNA is transcribed like the presence of amino acids in Trp Operon stops the transcription proses.

Student: I leaned that the transcription proses is so effective that it stops transcribing even when it doesn't need those extra enzymes. It saves energy by stoping transcription when the amino acid is present and is super efficient. 

Kim Brenneman
October 14, 2013 at 8:40pm

Parent: I learned that a TRP operon controls the production of a enzyme to produce Tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid in the human diet.  There are three parts of the TRP operon that each play a part in this process. The promoter, the operator, and the genes.

TYLER: I also learned what exactly a Tryptophan is. Before, I didn't understand what this thing was at all but then I researched it and learned that it is encoded in the standard genetic code as the codon UGG. Furthermore, I found out that it is in the protein drinks that my dad forces me to drink:)

Jade Cottrell
November 11, 2013 at 8:34pm

Parent Response:

You must read this while the theme song from Phantom of the Opera runs through your head :)

I learned that an operon is essentially an on/off switch. It will either allow or deny the promoter (rna polymerase) to move forward through transcription. The repressor has to bind with the operon in order to turn on the gene. 


Kevin Turek
December 30, 2013 at 2:41pm

Parent: I learned that operons are on/off switches in the body that activate different things in the body TRP operons specifically turn tryptophan in the body. Once it is induced it turns on in the lack of tryptophan so it can produce more.

Student: This one was easier to explain then the DNA and enzyme concepts she seemed to get it when using the on off switch analogy.

Talesh Patel
October 09, 2014 at 8:04pm

Parent: We learned that Trp is an operon that is required for enzyme production and is found in protein rich foods that we eat.  The Trp  bonds with protein, connects to the operator of the dna and shuts off RNA production.  RNA functions in protein synthesis and gene regulation. When there is little Trp the operator turn on production of RNA.  Seems very complex to me.

Student: I learned that Tryptophan is found in protein rich foods and further understood that the operator acts as an on/off switch for RNA production based on the amount of trp that creates active repressors. Also, E. Coli uses trp stored in it's DNA. 

Madison Neyers
October 24, 2014 at 9:28pm

Parent: The trp operon has three genes. Beginning at the 5' cap is the promoter with the attached RNA polymerase. Next to the promoter is the operator that acts like a switch turning the sequence on or off. A repressor is used to turn off the operator. The trp fits into the corepressor and changes the shape of the repressor to fit into the operator. 

Student: I learned that the three genes create an mRNA strand that creates three different polypeptides that are brought together like being stapled and create a trp enzyme. It is important to know that the trp operon control enzymes that make trp. This represents regulation.

Madison Boggan
November 22, 2014 at 3:12pm

Parent: Bacteria use the TRP operon to make tryptophan. This is also found in turkey. I'm a little nervous to eat my Thanksgiving turkey now as I don't want to feed any bacteria however, Madison says it's okay because some bacteria live inside of us all the time. The trp operon is handy because it conserves energy by only being turned on when it is necessary. When trp is present, the operon is switched off. This is a convenient device.

Student: While explaining to my mom that the trp operon is convenient because it can be turned on when there is demand and turned off when there isn't, I realized that this would be useful when it comes to stress. Often my mom and I stress out all the time but it would be better if our stress was only turned on when there wasn't already natural stress and motivation present. If there already was stress then it wouldn't be turned on to produce more. Now I want a stress operon.


Delaney Tiernan
December 30, 2014 at 9:49pm

Student: This process is all about Gene Regulation. There are 3 parts to the trp operon. When the repressor is NOT in the active site of the promotor, then the DNA can move through and cycle and reach the genes. But when the the trp fits into the repressor and the repressor is in the operator, then it inhibits the DNA from then making the mRNA. This process is turned off for example when you eat turkey because there is trp in it. That is why turkey makes you sleepy. "Got to keep it regulated. Transcripted, translated"

Parent: This process makes sense to me now that I have learned the protein synthesis process. This just zooms in on the first transcription part of the larger process. Delaney taught me the little song about regulation and explained how this process can maintain gene regulation and why that is important for our cells. 

Mary Fuller
January 01, 2015 at 6:51pm

Student: The trp operon has three parts—the promoter, operator, and genes. The operator (when not repressed) allows the promoter to move along the mRNA to translate it into the polypeptide that is trp. If the repressor is blocking the operon, it will not function. By turning off the operon, it saves energy.

Parent: Mary did an excellent job of explaining how the trp operon controls whether or not the protein trp is made. She drew me a picture that helped to expand upon the topic and made it easier to understand.

Hannah Johansen
January 25, 2015 at 10:03pm

Stig: I learned that  trp operon  is a form of gene regulation and that it is like an on/off switch. Hannah did a pretty good job of explaining this as she drew a picture went into detail on the topic. 

Hannah: I learned that this was basically an on/off switch. Basically it is always on, but you can turn it off- which is called a repressive operon. If it's on, the promoter will move down the mRNA and translate it. 

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