The term "degeneracy of genetic code"

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • Author
    Posts
    • #11807
      poobear
      Participant

      I know about the genetic code, that several codon can code for a single amino acid etc.
      However, Im confused by the term "degeneracy of the genetic code (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_co … netic_code).
      English is not my native language, but when I think of degeneracy I think of something that is destroyed, abnormal, lost its quality or something in that kind – which I cant apply on the genetic code. I would much rather use the term "redundancy of the genetic code", but that term doesnt seem to be as widespread.

      I know termiology is not That important, but I find etymology interesting and I would like to understand this term.

      Thanks for any help!

    • #92823
      JackBean
      Participant

      Hi,

      well, I haven’t think about that in this way anytime earlier 🙂
      But if you look e.g. here: http://www.answers.com/topic/degeneracy
      there is also meaning "declination, decline, decay, deterioration" and its antonyms: development, improvement. This is, in my opinion, meaning of this word in this context.
      Also, if you remember from physics or chemistry "the degenerated orbitals", which are of the same energy.
      So, the meaning is not like mental retardation, but more likely not being perfect 😉

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.