Before entering fully into the definition of the term genetic code, it is necessary to know the etymological origin of the two words that give it shape:
-Code is a word that derives from the Latin “codicus”, which in turn emanates from “codex ”, Which were the books that were used to write the rules.
-Genetic, on the other hand, is a term that etymologically derives from Greek. In his case, it emanates from “gennetikos” and means “that originates”.
According to abbreviationfinder, the concept of code has several uses. In this case, we are interested in keeping its meaning as the combination of characters that, within the framework of a certain system, has a certain value.
The gene, meanwhile, is that related to biological inheritance and genes: the sequence of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which acts as a functional unit in the transfer of those characters that are inherited.
From these definitions, we can understand what the notion of genetic code refers to. This is the name of the key to the data that genes house, which indicates the universal correspondence that exists between the sequence of nucleic acids and the sequence of proteins. The genetic code, in this way, details how hereditary characters are transmitted.
The rules established by the genetic code allow the translation of a sequence of nucleotides (a compound made up of a nitrogen base, phosphoric acid and a sugar) to a sequence of amino acids present in a protein. In this way it specifies the link between sequences of three nucleotides (which are called codons) and three amino acids. Each codon has a correspondence with a specific amino acid.
Codons, therefore, are sequences of three nucleotides that, in the so – called messenger RNA, are responsible for encoding the addition of a certain amino acid in the biosynthesis of proteins. The relationship between codons and amino acids is established by the genetic code.
In RNA, the sequence of genetic material involves adenine (A), uracil (U), guanine (G) and cytokine (C), while in DNA the participating nitrogenous bases are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytokine (C). These letters that make up the codons are the ones that appear in the genetic code. A codon sequence establishes the characteristics of an amino acid sequence in each protein.
Other data of interest about the genetic code are the following:
-The aforementioned code, as a general rule, is represented in a table where the amino acid that is encoded by each codon is identified.
-It has the peculiarity that there may be more than one codon, coding for more than one amino acid. This is what is known as synonymous codons.
-The number of codons is 64: 61 that come to code for amino acids and 3 that do not code but act as “stop signals”.
-We can also highlight the fact that the genetic code does not present any type of imperfection and also does not have overlaps.
-Numerous are the important figures throughout history who have worked on the genetic code. However, unquestionably the most relevant or those who have left a more relevant legacy are Severo Ochoa, Har Gobind Khorana, Marshall W. Nirenberg and Sydney Brenner as well as Francis Crick, among many others.