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genetic code

the biochemical instructions that translate the genetic information present as a linear sequence of nucleotide triplets in messenger RNA into the correct linear sequence of amino acids for the synthesis of a particular peptide chain or protein.
Compare codon, translation (def 9).
Origin of genetic code
1960-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for genetic code
  • The genetic code appears the best possible to act as a buffer for random genetic changes.
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  • Musk immediately said the quick and inexpensive tracking, decoding and writing of genetic code.
  • The real intellectual prize, though, was the genetic code itself.
  • The sequencing technology works by figuring out the precise sequence of letters that make up the genetic code of life.
  • Significantly altering a persons genetic code is not something parents of an altered human would normally chose.
  • We need to figure out the genetic code to better ourselves.
  • Now scientists may have cracked the genetic code behind the inherited ailments.
  • Then crack the genetic code and find out how the different parts, called nucleotides, fit together to compose it.
  • To reproduce, a virus binds to a host cell, which mistakes the virus for a protein and replicates its genetic code.
British Dictionary definitions for genetic code

genetic code

(biochem) the order in which the nitrogenous bases of DNA are arranged in the molecule, which determines the type and amount of protein synthesized in the cell. The four bases are arranged in groups of three in a specific order, each group acting as a unit (codon), which specifies a particular amino acid See also messenger RNA, transfer RNA
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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genetic code in Medicine

genetic code n.
The sequence of nucleotides that is the basis of heredity in the DNA molecule of a chromosome and that specifies the amino acid sequence in the synthesis of proteins.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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genetic code in Science
genetic code
The sequence of nucleotides in DNA and RNA that serve as instructions for synthesizing proteins. The genetic code is based on an "alphabet" consisting of sixty-four triplets of nucleotides called codons. The order in which codons are strung together determines the order in which the amino acids for which they code are arranged in a protein.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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genetic code in Culture

genetic code definition

The code that translates the sequence of nucleotides in genes along the DNA strand into the structure of protein, which, through its action as an enzyme, governs one chemical reaction in the cell. A simple mnemonic is “One gene codes for one protein which runs one reaction.”

Note: All living things share the same genetic code, a fact that represents strong evidence for evolution. Unraveling the genetic code was one of the great scientific achievements of the twentieth century, and it opened the way to genetic engineering.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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