genetic code

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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).
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Origin of genetic code

First recorded in 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use genetic code in a sentence

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 acidSee 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

Scientific definitions for genetic code

genetic code
[ jə-nĕtĭk ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for genetic code

genetic code

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.”

notes for genetic code

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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.