Related topics: genome · genes · protein · genetic variation · dna

Re-cracking the genetic code

Crack open a biology textbook and you will find the table summarizing the standard genetic code. This refers to the set of rules by which the cell "decodes" the information contained in DNA and "translates" it into the amino ...

Cheap as chips: identifying plant genes to ensure food security

An international team of scientists led by the University of Goettingen has developed a new approach that enables researchers to more efficiently identify the genes that control plant traits. This method will enable plant ...

This microbe is spreading antibiotic resistance to other bacteria

Antibiotic resistance is spreading fast all over the world. When infectious bacteria mutate in a certain way and then multiply, they can become resistant to even the most powerful drugs. But research has revealed a worrying ...

'Semi-synthetic' bacteria churn out unnatural proteins

Synthetic biologists seek to create new life with forms and functions not seen in nature. Although scientists are a long way from making a completely artificial life form, they have made semi-synthetic organisms that have ...

Translation of genes more complex than expected

Researchers from Marvin Tanenbaum's group at the Hubrecht Institute have shown that translation of the genetic information stored in our DNA is much more complex than previously thought. This discovery was made by developing ...

page 1 from 23

Genetic code

The genetic code is the set of rules by which information encoded in genetic material (DNA or RNA sequences) is translated into proteins (amino acid sequences) by living cells. The code defines a mapping between tri-nucleotide sequences, called codons, and amino acids. A triplet codon in a nucleic acid sequence usually specifies a single amino acid (though in some cases the same codon triplet in different locations can code unambiguously for two different amino acids, the correct choice at each location being determined by context). Because the vast majority of genes are encoded with exactly the same code (see the RNA codon table), this particular code is often referred to as the canonical or standard genetic code, or simply the genetic code, though in fact there are many variant codes. Thus the canonical genetic code is not universal. For example, in humans, protein synthesis in mitochondria relies on a genetic code that varies from the canonical code.

It is important to know that not all genetic information is stored using the genetic code. All organisms' DNA contain regulatory sequences, intergenic segments, and chromosomal structural areas that can contribute greatly to phenotype but operate using distinct sets of rules that may or may not be as straightforward as the codon-to-amino acid paradigm that usually underlies the genetic code (see epigenetics).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA