genetic code

noun

: 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 Most of us are the product of a single genetic code. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 14 Feb. 2024 The switch of an A to a T in the genetic code for hemoglobin results in a hemoglobin protein with a valine instead of a glutamic acid at the sixth amino acid position. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 8 Dec. 2023 That fact hints at differences in individual biology, determined by each person’s unique genetic code. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 8 Dec. 2023 The Fire-Eye excelled not only at cracking the genetic code for viruses, but also for humans, with machines that can decipher genetic instructions contained within the cells of every person on Earth, according to its Chinese inventors. Cate Brown, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 To back up the results, the researchers also analyzed the genetic codes of each spider species. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 20 Dec. 2023 Tome is a genome-editing company, using a novel technique called PASTE that allows scientists to insert large sequences of genetic code without breaking DNA. Damian Garde, STAT, 12 Dec. 2023 This means that a person’s ZIP code is often a better predictor of their life expectancy than their genetic code. Catherine Brinkley, The Conversation, 29 Aug. 2023 To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here. CNN — An international team of scientists mapped nearly the entire human genome for the first time two decades ago, cracking the genetic code of human life. Katie Hunt, CNN, 13 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'genetic code.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of genetic code was in 1958

Dictionary Entries Near genetic code

Cite this Entry

“Genetic code.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genetic%20code. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

genetic code

noun
: the chemical code that is the basis of genetic inheritance and consists of units of three linked chemical groups which specify particular kinds of amino acids used to make proteins or which start or stop the process of making proteins

Medical Definition

genetic code

noun
: 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
genetic coding noun

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