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

Recent Examples on the Web The Imperial College vaccine uses synthetic strands of genetic code based on the virus. Fox News, "First volunteer receives experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Imperial College in UK trial," 25 June 2020 Nucleic acid tests work by detecting the virus' genetic code, and can be more effective at detecting an infection, particularly in the early stages, than tests which examine a body's immune response, though the latter are easier to conduct. Nectar Gan, CNN, "China's new coronavirus outbreak sees Beijing adopt 'wartime' measures as capital races to contain spread," 15 June 2020 Viruses are snippets of genetic code wrapped in protein. Cynthia Dizikes,, "SARS antibodies block coronavirus infections, study shows," 11 June 2020 The 20-page document released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office says a test of Floyd on April 3 was positive for the virus' genetic code, or RNA. NBC News, "George Floyd had coronavirus, autopsy says," 3 June 2020 The rays seem to penetrate the cells of pathogens, damaging the DNA or RNA that contain their genetic code, Jim Malley, PhD, an environmental engineer at the University of New Hampshire, told the Los Angeles Times. Elizabeth Gulino,, "Can UV Light Actually Kill Coronavirus?," 29 May 2020 In all the frenetic viral cloning, there can be small errors in the copies of genetic code. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Flawed COVID hypothesis may have saved Washington from being NYC," 28 May 2020 Worobey started studying the genetic codes of these viruses, which have been published widely. Maggie Fox, CNN, "US missed early chance to slow coronavirus, genetic study indicates," 29 May 2020 What proved to be a game-changer in the investigation was the use of ancestry websites to find potential genetic code matches, Deters said. Jared Goffinet,, "$4 million bond set for man accused in series of mid-90s kidnappings, rapes," 19 May 2020

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

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Genetic code.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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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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