Comp 411 – Spring 2012 -1 - Problem Set #1


Computers are not the only systems that manipulate and store information. During the past 50 years the field of biology has experienced a revolution that was prompted by the discovery of the structure DNA molecule and its role in genetics. The information content of every biological system is encoded in its DNA sequence as a series of four nucleic acids— cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine, which I will abbreviate as C, G, A, and T. Genes are merely subsequences of DNA that encode assembly instructions for a particular protein. Proteins are the primary molecular machines that perform the tasks of life. Within genes, trios of nucleic acids, called codons, are used to encode one of 20 amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. This coding is described in the following table:


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