Teachers and parents: You can support Ducksters and get the latest updates by liking or following Ducksters on Facebook or Twitter.


Kids Site Kids Site Search
History Biography Geography Science Games for Kids
Science >> Biology for Kids

Biology for Kids

Proteins and Amino Acids

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are special organic molecules used by living organisms to make proteins. The main elements in amino acids are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. There are twenty different kinds of amino acids that combine to make proteins in our bodies. Our bodies can actually make some amino acids, but the rest we must get from our food.

What are proteins?

Proteins are long chains of amino acids. There are thousands of different proteins in the human body. They provide all sorts of functions to help us survive.


Structure of a protein

Why are they important?

Proteins are essential for life. Around 20% of our body is made up of proteins. Every cell in our body uses proteins to perform functions.

How are they made?

Proteins are made inside cells. When a cell makes a protein it is called protein synthesis. The instructions for how to make a protein are held inside the DNA molecule. The two major stages in making a protein are called transcription and translation.

Transcription

The first step in making a protein is called transcription. This is when the cell makes a copy (or "transcript") of the DNA. The copy of DNA is called RNA because it uses a different type of nucleic acid called ribonucleic acid. The RNA is used in the next step, which is called translation.

Translation

The next step in making a protein is called translation. This is when the RNA is converted (or "translated") into a sequence of amino acids that makes up the protein.

The translation process of making the new protein from the RNA instructions takes place in a complex machine in the cell called the ribosome. The following steps take place in the ribosome.

How a ribosome makes a protein

Different Types of Proteins

There are literally thousands of different types of proteins in our bodies. Here are a few of the major groups and functions of proteins: Interesting Facts about Proteins and Amino Acids Activities

Take a ten question quiz about this page.

More Biology Subjects

Cell
The Cell
Cell Cycle and Division
Nucleus
Ribosomes
Mitochondria
Chloroplasts
Proteins
Enzymes

The Human Body
Human Body
Brain
Nervous System
Digestive System
Sight and the Eye
Hearing and the Ear
Smelling and Tasting
Skin
Muscles
Breathing
Blood and Heart
Bones
List of Human Bones
Immune System
Organs

Nutrition
Nutrition
Vitamins and Minerals
Carbohydrates
Lipids
Enzymes

Genetics
Genetics
Chromosomes
DNA
Mendel and Heredity
Hereditary Patterns
Proteins and Amino Acids

Plants
Photosynthesis
Plant Structure
Plant Defenses
Flowering Plants
Non-Flowering Plants
Trees
Living Organisms
Scientific Classification
Animals
Bacteria
Protists
Fungi
Viruses

Disease
Infectious Disease
Medicine and Pharmaceutical Drugs
Epidemics and Pandemics
Historical Epidemics and Pandemics
Immune System
Cancer
Concussions
Diabetes
Influenza


Science >> Biology for Kids








More polls
What's New??

Try out our new
Ads help keep us free. Upgrade to remove.





About Ducksters Privacy Policy

Go Ad Free - Remove Ads

Follow us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter

Last updated: This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.