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The tabloids, instead of being about alien babies and stuff, it's my triplets, quadruplets, marriages, feuds.
Unfortunately it makes the unambiguous determination of triplets by these methods much more difficult than would be the case if there were only one triplet for each amino acid.
It would appear that the number of nonsense triplets is rather low, since we only occasionally come across them. However this conclusion is less secure than our other deductions about the general nature of the genetic code.
It now seems very likely that many of the 64 triplets, possibly most of them, may code one amino acid or another, and that in general several distinct triplets may code one amino acid.
If, for example, all the codons are triplets, then in addition to the correct reading of the message, there are two incorrect readings which we shall obtain if we do not start the grouping into sets of three at the right place.
The meaning of this observation is unclear, but it raises the unfortunate possibility of ambiguous triplets; that is, triplets which may code more than one amino acid. However one would certainly expect such triplets to be in a minority.
The balance of evidence both from the cell-free system and from the study of mutation, suggests that this does not occur at random, and that triplets coding the same amino acid may well be rather similar.
Attempts have been made from a study of the changes produced by mutation to obtain the relative order of the bases within various triplets, but my own view is that these are premature until there is more extensive and more reliable data on the composition of the triplets.
A comparison between the triplets tentatively deduced by these methods with the changes in amino acid sequence produced by mutation shows a fair measure of agreement.
Nature gives us all, including Prof. Lorentz, surprises. It was very quickly found that there are many exceptions to the rule of splitting of the lines only into triplets.
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