It is commonly reported that up to 50% of a cell’s energy budget is spent on protein synthesis. How do yousuppose such a measurement might be made?
Think about the properties of two hypothetical genetic codes constructed with the four common nucleotides: A, C,G, and T.
a- imagine that the genetic code is constructed so that pairs of nucleotides are used as codons. How many different amino acids could such a code specify?
b- Imagine that the genetic code is a triplet code; that is, it uses three nucleotides to specify each amino acid. In this code, the amino acid specified by each codon depends only on the composition of the codon – not the sequence. Thus, for example, CCA, CAC, and ACC, which all have the composition C2A, would encode the same amino acid. How many different amino acids could such a code specify?
c- Would you expect the genetic codes in questions a and b to lead to difficulties in the process of translation, using mechanisms analogous to those used in translating the standard genetic code?