Your Best and Favorite Biology Analogies


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5+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2012
New York, U.S.A.
  1. Pre-Medical
    Here's one that I still remember. It's translation in protein synthesis, which is like Chapter 17. I use a "party analogy".

    You have the large and small sub unit, which make up the ribosome. This occurs in the cytoplasm, which is like the party neighborhood. The ribosome is the house where the party occurs. Basically, you have three sites for the large subunit, A, P, and E. In reality, they stand for arrival, polypeptide, and exit, but for our analogy, think of it as "Admittance", "Party", and "Exit".

    So a tRNA is a person who wants to go into this "party house" ribosome. But in order to be admitted into the party ("Admittance"), the tRNA needs money to enter the party, AKA a piece of polypeptide chain. He only has one piece of amino acid (one coin). The tRNA that's currently inside the party (the P site) sees the tRNA outside with only one amino acid and feels sad. He gives him his whole polypeptide chain to enter the party.

    BUT, here's the twist. The tRNA inside the party doesn't have anymore money! So he gets booted out to "Exit" and must leave the party. The tRNA waiting outside now has the long polypeptide chain that was given by the tRNA that was inside and now has that chain AND the amino acid it had before. The tRNA enters the party ("P site") and parties until another tRNA with only one amino acid comes.

    The cycle keeps repeating. Later, a stop codon (The mom) comes home and sees the party. It's furious that there is a party in her house, gets super angry, and her fury (the release factor) breaks up the ribosome into its subunits again and the completed polypeptide chain (AKA the money made during the party) is donated to charity (AKA it goes off into the cytoplasm and will be used for protein synthesis).

    Sorry if this was hard to understand, but these types of analogies was how I got through self studying AP Biology. Hope you enjoyed it!

    What crazy and unorthdox analogies have you used in your biology courses?
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