Three consecutive nitrogenous bases on an mrna strand?

Question: Three consecutive nitrogenous bases on an mrna strand?

What are three consecutive nitrogenous bases on an mRNA strand? If you are interested in molecular biology, you might have heard of this term before. It is called a **codon**, and it is the basic unit of the genetic code that determines how proteins are made in living cells.

A codon is a sequence of three nucleotides (A, U, G, or C) on an mRNA strand that corresponds to a specific amino acid or a stop signal. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and stop signals mark the end of protein synthesis. There are 64 possible codons, but only 20 amino acids and three stop signals. This means that some amino acids can be coded by more than one codon. For example, the amino acid leucine can be coded by six different codons: UUA, UUG, CUU, CUC, CUA, or CUG.

The genetic code is universal, meaning that it is the same for almost all living organisms on Earth. This suggests that all life forms share a common ancestor and a common origin of the genetic code. However, there are some exceptions to the universality of the genetic code, such as in some bacteria, archaea, and organelles.

The genetic code is also degenerate, meaning that some codons can code for the same amino acid. This provides some redundancy and flexibility in case of mutations or errors in transcription or translation. For example, if a nucleotide in a codon is changed from U to C, it might not affect the amino acid that is coded by that codon. However, some mutations can be harmful or beneficial depending on the context and the function of the protein.

The genetic code is also non-overlapping and commaless, meaning that each nucleotide in an mRNA strand belongs to only one codon and there are no gaps or punctuation marks between codons. The codons are read continuously from a fixed starting point until a stop signal is reached. The starting point is usually the codon AUG, which codes for the amino acid methionine and also serves as a start signal for protein synthesis.

The genetic code is one of the most important discoveries in biology, as it reveals how information is stored and expressed in living cells. It also provides clues about the evolution and diversity of life on Earth. By understanding how codons work, we can better understand how genes control the traits and functions of organisms.

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