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

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Examples of genetic code in a Sentence

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The authors mainly focused on searching for possible bacterial and viral DNA, because those are the types of genetic code that are relatively easy to extract from ancient samples. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Gut bacteria linked to cataclysmic epidemic that wiped out 16th-century Mexico," 16 Jan. 2018 Whenever the bacteria’s enzymes manage to kill off an invading virus, other little enzymes will come along, scoop up the remains of the virus’s genetic code, cut it up into little bits, and then store it in those CRISPR spaces. Brad Plumer, Vox, "A simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of the decade," 23 July 2018 Alleles are crucial parts of our genetic code, variations on DNA that allow for unique traits like eye color. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Infamous CRISPR Baby Scientist Is Missing," 3 Dec. 2018 And with more people’s data available, researchers can peer deeper into the genetic code. Brian Resnick, Vox, "How scientists are trying to predict your future with your genes," 23 Aug. 2018 Earlier this year, Nature Medicine published papers suggesting that editing one part of the DNA using this method could harm other parts of an organism’s genetic code. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Flawed DNA editing of alleged ‘designer babies’ may have put their health at risk," 29 Nov. 2018 The project will sequence the genome — the entire genetic code of a living thing — of more than 100 southern-resident orca whales using skin or other samples collected from live and dead orcas over the past two decades. Phuong Le, The Seattle Times, "Scientists to sequence genes of struggling southern-resident orca whales," 5 Oct. 2018 Different ways to downsize a genome B. recurrentis causes relapses because its genetic code enables the bacteria to run through a random sequence of different variants of two proteins, called antigens, on its surface. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA reveals the secrets of a devastating European disease," 26 Sep. 2018 The bigger the genetic code, the more can go wrong, and much of what the genome contains, Salzberg said, is unnecessary. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, "As threats to California’s giant redwoods grow, the key to their salvation might be in their complex genetic code.," 7 Feb. 2018

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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2 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for genetic code

The first known use of genetic code was in 1958

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with genetic code Encyclopedia article about genetic code

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an enemy or opponent

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