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2007 | 54 | 1 | 51-54
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The genetic code - 40 years on

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The genetic code discovered 40 years ago, consists of 64 triplets (codons) of nucleotides. The genetic code is almost universal. The same codons are assigned to the same amino acids and to the same START and STOP signals in the vast majority of genes in animals, plants, and microorganisms. Each codon encodes for one of the 20 amino acids used in the synthesis of proteins. That produces some redundancy in the code and most of the amino acids being encoded by more than one codon. The two cases have been found where selenocysteine or pyrrolysine, that are not one of the standard 20 is inserted by a tRNA into the growing polypeptide.
Physical description
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