Genetics

Sequencing the genome of newborns in the US: Are we ready?

Twenty-four to 48 hours after birth, every newborn in the U.S. will have a few drops of blood drawn and sent to a lab to be screened for hidden and potentially life-threatening disorders. This process, known as universal ...

Genetics

Awakening stem cells to unlock the brain's regenerative potential

The human body has powerful healing abilities. But treating brain disorders is no easy task, as brain cells—neurons—have limited ability to regenerate. Nonetheless, stem cells are a form of natural backup, a vestige of ...

Oncology & Cancer

Tumor mutations may predict response to immunotherapy

Mismatch repair deficiency refers to a characteristic of some cancer cells that create a large number of mutations, or changes, in certain genes when their mismatch repair proteins are unable to correct mistakes made when ...

Medical research

Can changing the microbiome reverse lactose intolerance?

After childhood, about two-thirds of the world's human population loses the ability to digest milk. As far as we know, 100 percent of nonhuman mammals also lose this ability after weaning. The ongoing ability to digest lactose, ...

Genetics

Research identifies genetic causes of poor sleep

The largest genetic study of its kind ever to use accelerometer data to examine how we slumber has uncovered a number of parts of our genetic code that could be responsible for causing poor sleep quality and duration.

Oncology & Cancer

New studies aim to improve melanoma diagnosis

A pair of studies led by University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers could aid in improved diagnosis for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

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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).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA