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Thread: The Genetic Code: A Simple Question

  1. #1 The Genetic Code: A Simple Question 
    New Member MathSciAddict's Avatar
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    Hello, I just got back from writing my bio test on genetics, including mutations. As I was walking home, the following question suddenly came to me: While there are point mutations, such as silent, missense, and nonsense which causes a premature stop codon, is it possible that there are two start codons which are NOT separated by a stop codon, but are separated by several codons (not just one after another)? And what would happen if such a mutation occured?


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    The start codon also encodes for the amino acid methionine, so this isn't a problem.


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    New Member MathSciAddict's Avatar
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    So this means that once a strand begins being synthesized, it does not stop until it reaches a stop codon, since AUG also codes for the amino acid methionine. Ok. Thanks
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MathSciAddict
    So this means that once a strand begins being synthesized, it does not stop until it reaches a stop codon, since AUG also codes for the amino acid methionine. Ok. Thanks
    Exactly

    I shouldn't have said this isn't a problem though, changing one codon to another can cause major problems if it the new amino acid has different properties from the old, which would affect the protein structure, possibly making it useless.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Which isn't really a problem because the mutation will occur most likely in a somatic cell.

    And if it is in the germline the chances are small it makes contributes to a fertilized cell.

    And if it does that it might be aborted.

    And if it doesn't do that it might never give offspring.

    And if it does that it is probably not really a detrimental mutation to start with.

    Do not worry. Nature takes care of it all.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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