Origin and Biologic Individuality of the Genetic Dictionary

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Science  21 Dec 1962:
Vol. 138, Issue 3547, pp. 1328-1331
DOI: 10.1126/science.138.3547.1328


Deoxyribonucleic acid contains sequences complementary to homologous amino-acid transfer ribonucleic acid molecules which serve as the translating device between polyribonucleotides and proteins. This implies that the RNA molecules have their primary origin in DNA. From the amount of DNA participating, one would infer that more than 20 complementary sequences exist per genome, a conclusion consistent with a degenerate code. The fact that complex formation occurs most readily with homologous RNA suggests that, while the language remains universal, each dictionary is uniquely identifiable with its own genome.