Question

Biology

Posted 3 months ago

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when researchers worked to predict how many nucleotides would be required to code for each of the 20 amino acids, they did so based on how many different words could be calculated with an alphabet of the four nucleotides found in rna: $\mathrm{a}, \mathrm{u}, \mathrm{c}$, and $\mathrm{g}$. match each word length on the left with how many different words could be spelled out on the right
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Answer from Sia

Posted 3 months ago

Answer

The number of different words that can be spelled out with a given word length using the four nucleotides (A, U, C, G) is $4^n$, where $n$ is the word length.

Solution

a

To determine the number of different words (combinations of nucleotides) that can be formed, we use the formula $4^n$, where $n$ is the length of the word (the number of nucleotides in the sequence)

b

Since there are 20 amino acids, we need to find the smallest value of $n$ such that $4^n \geq 20$

c

Calculating for different values of $n$, we find that $4^1 = 4$, $4^2 = 16$, and $4^3 = 64$. Therefore, $n=3$ is the smallest word length that can encode for all 20 amino acids, as $4^3$ is the first value greater than or equal to 20

Key Concept

The genetic code is degenerate, meaning that multiple codons (sequences of three nucleotides) can code for the same amino acid.

Explanation

The genetic code uses triplets of nucleotides called codons to specify amino acids. Since there are four different nucleotides and each codon is three nucleotides long, there are $4^3 = 64$ possible codons, more than enough to code for all 20 amino acids.

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