genetic code


Definition of genetic code

: the biochemical basis of heredity consisting of codons in DNA and RNA that determine the specific amino acid sequence in proteins and appear to be uniform for nearly all known forms of life

Examples of genetic code in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During a cool phase, a protein latches onto the genetic code of the virus and creates a short copy. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 June 2021 Bond Pet Foods began its process by humanely collecting a blood sample from a hen named Inga and analyzing the genetic code of its chicken proteins. Lana Bandoim, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Here's what's going on: A company called Oxitec fiddled around with the genetic code of male mosquitoes, inserting some tricky instructions that get handed off to mom mosquito during mating. Star Tribune, 14 May 2021 The genetic code of the virus works like an instruction manual, which keeps updating to improve the virus’s chances of survival. Biman Mukherji, Fortune, 10 May 2021 The 2,000-square-foot lab at Rush includes about 20 different scientific instruments that aid in a complicated, multistep process designed to peer into the genetic code of these tiny organisms. Angie Leventis Lourgos,, 21 Apr. 2021 Well, the research team from the University of Copenhagen found the entire genetic code of an ancient bear species without obtaining it from fossils, marking the very first time scientists have found genes outside the fossil record. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 20 Apr. 2021 The White House on Friday announced plans to help states detect and curb the spread of emerging COVID-19 variants by investing $1.7 billion in genomic sequencing, or the process to map the genetic code of a virus. Kaanita Iyer, USA TODAY, 18 Apr. 2021 That provides the genetic code of a virus, laying out for scientists a precise map for how to defeat it. David Heath, USA Today, 7 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'genetic code.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of genetic code

1958, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for genetic code

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The first known use of genetic code was in 1958

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Genetic code.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for genetic code

genetic code


Kids Definition of genetic code

: the arrangement of chemical groups within the genes which specify particular kinds of amino acids used to make proteins

genetic code


Medical Definition of genetic code

: the biochemical basis of heredity consisting of codons in DNA and RNA that determine the specific amino acid sequence in proteins and that appear to be uniform for all known forms of life

Other Words from genetic code

genetic coding noun

More from Merriam-Webster on genetic code Encyclopedia article about genetic code


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