genetic code

noun
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:
1960–65

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World English Dictionary
genetic code
 
n
biochem messenger RNA See also transfer RNA 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

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
genetic code   (jə-nět'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
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.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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
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Example sentences
The genetic code appears the best possible to act as a buffer for random
  genetic changes.
Horror, mystery and science-fiction books have spread their genetic code to a
  foreign habitat: the literature section.
Musk immediately said the quick and inexpensive tracking, decoding and writing
  of genetic code.
The real intellectual prize, though, was the genetic code itself.
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