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

New algorithm sharpens focus of world's most powerful microscopes

We've all seen that moment in a cop TV show where a detective is reviewing grainy, low-resolution security footage, spots a person of interest on the tape, and nonchalantly asks a CSI technician to "enhance that." A few keyboard ...

Searching for the chemistry of life

In the search for the chemical origins of life, researchers have found a possible alternative path for the emergence of the characteristic DNA pattern: According to the experiments, the characteristic DNA base pairs can form ...

Study reveals two major microbial groups can't breathe

A new scientific study has revealed unique life strategies of two major groups of microbes that live below Earth's surface. A publication in Frontiers in Microbiology reports that these groups, originally thought to rely ...

Giant Sunfish larva identified for the first time

Australian and New Zealand scientists have, for the first time, successfully identified the tiny larva of the giant Bump-head Sunfish (Mola alexandrini). Led by sunfish expert, Dr. Marianne Nyegaard from the Auckland War ...

Power of DNA to store information gets an upgrade

A team of interdisciplinary researchers has discovered a new technique to store in DNA information—in this case "The Wizard of Oz," translated into Esperanto—with unprecedented accuracy and efficiency. The technique harnesses ...

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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).

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