What Is the Genetic Code

It is a well coded set of instructions stored to be translated into proteins for normal body functions. It is basically a collection of rules encoded in the genetic material, DNA.

Relationship between proteins and DNA

  • Since proteins are very basic in life and control almost every aspect of the living organism, its production and control must be well regulated.
  • The amino acid sequences making up proteins are manufactured under the strict instruction of the DNA as per requirement of the body.
  • Each codon in the DNA represents a specific amino acid and will only be expressed when needed and under very strict instructions. This way, the body will have only what it needs and no unnecessary growths will be experienced.

Understanding DNA and RNA

DNA and RNA which are short for Deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid respectively are the holders of all genetic information. They exist is double helical strands with each strand being composed of nucleic acids like adenosine thymidine, cytosine, uracyl and guanosine. The DNA strands are arranged anti parallel to one another and are a check to each other, a template strand and antisense strand, even though they complement one another in the strand.

The template strand has all the codes for the genes in the organism where as the antisense strand contains anticodons for than specific gene. A set of three nucleotides will carry a code for one amino acid for example adenine-urracil-adenine is a code for acid Isoleucine.

The process of protein manufacture is complex but begins with transcription, where the genetic information is transferred to RNA which moves to the site where translation into amino acid will take place. The strand of RNA is thereby translated by the relevant enzymes into amino acids that are then used to synthesize specific proteins

The entire DNA strand is known to have some overlap since there are 64 nucleotide sets of three yet there are only 20 amino acids to be manufactured. Some codons carry the start signal while other has the stop signal for control of transcription and amino acid production. This way, specific proteins can be made since the start point of an amino acid chain determines what protein will be synthesized.

Some parts of the DNA are known as introns, they don’t form any codon and vary in size and frequency of appearance. More study is being conducted so as to understand their relevance in the genetic code.


The genetic code is one well organized information storage systems with a very great importance to living organisms. It is central in passing down genetic information and traits to the next generation. The parents’ DNA replicate then combine to form the off springs DNA passing on physical characteristics from one generation to the other.