The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

How does genetic information flow within biological systems?


  • Patrick Cafferty Emory University


The central dogma of molecular biology is a POGIL learning cycle activity designed for introductory biology students at the college or university level. The central dogma describes the cellular flow of genetic information through the biomolecules, DNA, RNA, and protein. Here, students will first explore information flow using a non-biological example: the production, shipping, and playing of vinyl records. Next, students will examine the flow of genetic information in a eukaryotic cell. Finally, students will investigate biological conditions such as retroviral infection and growth or wound healing that change the direction of genetic information flow in eukaryotic cells. The central dogma of molecular biology is an important topic for undergraduate students with an interest in careers in medicine, allied health care professions, and biomedical research as alterations in the levels or directions of genetic information flow can lead to pathophysiological states including uncontrolled cell division, tumor formation, and cancer.


Level: Undergraduate

Setting: Classroom

Activity Type: Learning Cycle

Discipline: Biology

Course: Introductory biology

Keywords: Central Dogma, genetic information flow

Author Biography

Patrick Cafferty, Emory University

Department of Biology and Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program, Senior Lecturer




How to Cite

Cafferty, P. (2022). The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology: How does genetic information flow within biological systems?. POGIL Activity Clearinghouse, 3(1). Retrieved from



Activities for Testing