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Thread: Genetic code

  1. #1 Genetic code 
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    I'm currently reading the selfish gene and have just read that genes are coded from only a '4 letter alphabet' (so to speak).
    Does anybody know how many 'letters' there are in a copy of a human's DNA?


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  3. #2  
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    The 4 letter alphabet you speak of is A-T G-C, ignoring mutations, A will always bind with T and G will always bind with C. We know that in the human genome there are a little over 3 billion base pairs of DNA. Which would mean there would be over 6 billion individual "letters." However because human cells are diploid, they contain two sets of DNA, one from the mother, one from the father. So there are 6 billion base pairs, for 12 billion individual "letters."

    http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives...7592.Ge.r.html


    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster...when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you" - Friedrich Nietzsche

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  4. #3  
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    Thanks a lot. I have to say I was expecting a figure much much higher. This is interesting indeed
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