What's New

Have made only minor tweaks that don't affect basic working of the app since last update. Launch image fixed. Can view other OnScreen Science apps' store listings without exiting the app. OnScreen Gene Transcription and the other apps in our suite of DNA Apps (DNA Model, DNA Replication, & Retrovirus) have now been updated so users can jump from one of the apps to any other installed on the same iPad without having to leave the app and search through screens and icons.

App Description

National Science Teachers Assoc. (NSTA) Recommends for Grade Level: 6-College (online Feb 2014)

OnScreen Gene Transcription shows in a detailed, visual, and memorable way how DNA's genetic code gets copied for use in a living cell. ** With NO ADS **

"A Best Science App. Highest Rating (Excellent)" Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, May 2013

See a 30-second preview video at nondummies.com or on YouTube.

Looks great on an iPad Mini as well as "full-size" iPads.

Through the use of engaging 3D animations with a virtual double helix model it makes clear and memorable how a recipe for a protein stored in a gene is made available for use by being copied nucleotide by nucleotide in the construction of a messenger RNA molecule. Students from middle school on up can learn from the app, as no advanced knowledge of chemistry is assumed. The model is exactly the same as the one found in OnScreen DNA Model, a companion app that teaches the structural details of DNA. Detailed commentary on what the animations demonstrate is available in a popover view.

The sequence of events in gene transcription unfold in three-dimensional simulations that don't skip over the need for unwinding the DNA after the strands have been separated. The formation of a hybrid DNA-RNA double helix during RNA construction is correctly shown instead of the two-dimensional ladder structure sometimes depicted. Important details about transcription that are often given short shrift or omitted altogether, such as the essential role the enzyme pyrophosphatase plays in the cell, are included.

Set the simulation to pause after each new significant step or pause it only when you want. Commentary on what is happening is literally at your fingertip in a popover. Rotate, translate, or zoom the model during the simulated transcription for a better view just by finger slide gestures. Background material on DNA and RNA are found in the Useful Stuff popover.

The ball-and-stick model has the advantage of clarity at the expense of atomic detail. The RNA Polymerase enzyme complex, while not shown in the view with the DNA model, so as not to obscure what is happening with bonds and strands, is depicted in the Sequence View below the model, thus making the point that it moves along the DNA, as it initiates and controls the reactions in transcription. We know of no other simulation of gene transcription on the internet or anywhere else that shows what happens as thoroughly as OnScreen Gene Transcription does.

App Screen Shots

(click to enlarge)

App Changes

November 26, 2013 New version 1.2.2
November 20, 2013 Price Decrease: $3.99 -> $2.99
November 15, 2013 New version 1.2.1
September 26, 2013 New version 1.2
February 12, 2012 Initial Release

Other Apps From OnScreen Science, Inc.