• Multiple codons can code for the same amino acid.
  • Amino Acid Codon The same amino acid,
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While discussion has focused on functionally equivalent polypeptides arising from amino acid changes, it will be appreciated that these changes may be effected by alteration of the encoding DNA; taking into consideration also that the genetic code is degenerate and that two or more codons may code for the same amino acid. A table of amino acids and their codons is presented herein for use in such embodiments, as well as for other uses, such as in the design of probes and primers and the like.

Only 1.2% of our DNA encodes the exons of our , and for a long time it was thought that much of the rest was "junk" DNA. Mutations in it would most likely be harmless. And even in coding regions, the existence of could result in the altered (mutated) gene still encoding the same amino acid in the protein.

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The amino acids specified by each mRNA codon

Twenty different amino acids are used to build proteins, whether those proteins are constructed in you and me, or in a worm, bacterium, whale, or any other living creature on Earth. Even an entity that can hardly be classified as "alive," namely a virus, has a protein coat that uses the same amino acids we do. Apparently, 20 of these building blocks represent enough variety to build all the proteins in all life forms.