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July 25, 2006

Codes Within Codes

Codes within the code of life - "Researchers believe they have found a second code in DNA in addition to the genetic code."

The genetic code specifies all the proteins that a cell makes. The second code, superimposed on the first, sets the placement of the nucleosomes, miniature protein spools around which the DNA is looped. The spools both protect and control access to the DNA itself.

The discovery, if confirmed, could open new insights into the higher order control of the genes, like the critical but still mysterious process by which each type of human cell is allowed to activate the genes it needs but cannot access the genes used by other types of cell.

Here's a very interesting paragraph at the end (emphasis mine).
In the genetic code, sets of three DNA units specify various kinds of amino acid, the units of proteins. A curious feature of the code is that it is redundant, meaning that a given amino acid can be defined by any of several different triplets. Biologists have long speculated that the redundancy may have been designed so as to coexist with some other kind of code, and this, Dr. Segal said, could be the nucleosome code.

Yes, I'm sure that they're intending to refer to blind chance over millennia being some sort of designer. But the more they find codes within codes, one wonders how long they'll stretch believability in that regard.

Posted by Doug at July 25, 2006 01:32 PM

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