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

Bat 'nightclubs' may be the key to solving the next pandemic

Bats carry some of the deadliest zoonotic diseases that can infect both humans and animals, such as Ebola and COVID-19. In a recently-published article in the journal Cell Genomics, a Texas A&M research team has revealed ...

Building a DNA nanoparticle to be both carrier and medicine

Scientists have been making nanoparticles out of DNA strands for two decades, manipulating the bonds that maintain DNA's double-helical shape to sculpt self-assembling structures that could someday have jaw-dropping medical ...

Newly identified protein helps flowers develop properly

Flowers rely on a newly identified protein to develop properly with all of their organs, according to the research team who made the discovery. The team, led by Penn State biologists, identified the protein in the model plant ...

Using computer-engineered DNA to study cell identities

All the cells in our body have the same genetic code, and yet they can differ in their identities, functions and disease states. Telling one cell apart from another in a simple manner, in real time, would prove invaluable ...

Molecular cooperation at the threshold of life

Protein-like aggregates known as amyloids can bind to molecules of genetic material. It is possible that these two types of molecules stabilized each other during the development of life—and that this might even have paved ...

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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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