A glimpse into nature’s looking glass—to find the genetic code is reassigned

In the Lewis Carroll classic, Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty states, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” In turn, Alice (of Wonderland fame) says, “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.” All organisms on Earth use a genetic code, which is the language in which the building plans for proteins are specified in their DNA. It has long been assumed that there is only one such “canonical” code, so each word means the same thing to every organism. While a few examples of organisms deviating from this canonical code had been serendipitously discovered before, these were widely thought of as very rare evolutionary oddities, absent from most places on Earth and representing a tiny fraction of species.

from Phys.org – spotlight science and technology news stories http://ift.tt/1n5s0xT
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