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 Dixon compares this new scheme to the genetic code, in which four chemical building blocks combine to form the genes in a strand of DNA. Katie Mccormick, Quanta Magazine, 1 Aug. 2022 Instead of using the virus itself to spur an immune response, as older vaccines do, scientists instead spur it using a programmable piece of genetic code called mRNA. Wired, 19 July 2022 Then, sequencing machines map out the entire SARS-CoV-2 virus genetic code — all 29,903 individual building blocks. Helena Oliviero, ajc, 4 Dec. 2021 Adding to the difficulty, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots are built on a snippet of the coronavirus’s genetic code called messenger RNA, or mRNA., 3 May 2021 In the 1990s scientists were realizing that the output of our genes is sensitive to factors not written directly into our genetic code. Rachel Yehuda, Scientific American, 18 June 2022 But now, Omicron seems to be evolving new forms that penetrate immune defenses with relatively few changes to its genetic code. New York Times, 16 May 2022 In the case of food, that threat is protein your genetic code doesn’t recognize. Abby Langer, Men's Health, 29 Apr. 2022 In this scenario, the cellular machinery that viruses hijack to make clones of themselves can sometimes abruptly switch from translating the genetic code of one of the variants to the code of the other, resulting in a mosaic virus. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of genetic code

1958, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of genetic code was in 1958

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Dictionary Entries Near genetic code

genetic aggregation

genetic code

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Genetic code.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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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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