How does the universality of the genetic code make the recombinant DNA technology possible?

1 year ago

The universality of the genetic code refers to the fact that all living beings have their protein synthesis machinery functioning according to the same principles of storage, transmission and recognition of information, including translation of mRNA codons. This fact makes possible the exchanging of genes or gene fragments between different organisms and secures that these genes continue to command protein synthesis.

This universality, for example, makes feasible the insertion of a fragment of human DNA containing a gene for the production of a given protein into the genetic material of bacteria. Since the bacterial transcription and translation systems work in the same manner as the correspondent human systems do, the bacteria will begin to synthesize the human protein related to the inserted DNA fragment. There are industries that produce human insulin (for use by diabetic patients) in this way, synthesized by bacteria with modified DNA. If the genetic code was not universal this kind of genetic manipulation would be impossible or very difficult to accomplish without new technological progresses.


Dipti KC
May 7, 2023
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