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 DNA contains the genetic code. Explain what is meant by the genetic code?

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rosannalilly80 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 14, 2012 at 1:11 AM via web

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 DNA contains the genetic code. Explain what is meant by the genetic code?

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scorpio37 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted January 14, 2012 at 1:16 AM (Answer #1)

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The genetic code is the set of rules by which information encoded in genetic material (DNA or mRNA sequences) is translated into proteins (amino acid sequences) by living cells.

The code defines how sequences of three nucleotides, called codons, specify which amino acid will be added next during protein synthesis. With some exceptions, a three-nucleotide codon in a nucleic acid sequence specifies a single amino acid. 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 some variant codes have evolved. For example, protein synthesis in human mitochondria relies on a genetic code that differs from the standard genetic code.

Not all genetic information is stored using the genetic code. All organisms' DNA contains regulatory sequences, intergenic segments, chromosomal structural areas, and other non-coding DNA that can contribute greatly to phenotype. Those elements operate under sets of rules that are distinct from the codon-to-amino acid paradigm underlying the genetic code.

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted January 14, 2012 at 3:13 AM (Answer #2)

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Genetic code defines a mapping between tri-nucleotidal sequences, called codons, and amino acids. Because the vast majority of genes are encoded with exactly the same code, this particular code is often referred to as the canonical or standard code, or simply the genetic code.  Your genetic code is the new "finger print" of who you are as an individual.  No other person who has ever existed on this Earth has your exact genetic code.  It is more defining to who you are as an individual than the uniqueness of your fingerprints.

Not all genetic information is contained in the genetic code.  DNA contains regulatory sequences, intergenic segments, and chromosomal structural areas that contribute greatly to the organism's phenotype, or physical appearance.

The use of the genetic code has much practical application in the field of genetic engineering.  The manipulation of specific codons that code for the production of certain proteins promise the development of organisms with desired physical characteristics, such as the so-called "super-salmon".  This salmon has been genetically engineered to grow at an accelerated for the entire year.  Such an organism would have a dramatic impact on food supplies, provided, of course, it is safe for human consumption.

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yash15 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted January 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM (Answer #3)

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The sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that determines the specific amino acid sequence in the synthesis of proteins. It is the biochemical basis of heredity and nearly universal in all organisms.

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