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Spectroscopy of the genetic code


Jarvis, PD and Bashford, JD, Spectroscopy of the genetic code, Quantum Aspects Of Life, Imperial College Press, Derek Abbott, Paul C W Davies and Arun K Pati (ed), London, pp. 147-186. ISBN 978-1-84816-253-2 (2008) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: doi:10.1142/9781848162556_0009


Discussions of the nature of the genetic code cannot be divorced from the biological context of its origin and evolution. We briefly review some of the main arguments that have been put forward for the evolution of the ge- netic code, together with the salient biological background. Longstanding observations of genetic code regularities have led to combinatorially-based assertions about its structure. However, it is also possible to extend such "symmetry" descriptions to continuous symmetries or supersymmetries, es- pecially in relation to the pattern of redundancy (degeneracy) of the genetic code. We give an account of some recent work along these lines. This is supported by graphical presentations, and some data fits, of samples of measured physico-chemical properties of codons and amino acids across the genetic code table. Finally, we review codon-anticodon recognition in terms of conformational degrees of freedom, and structural, stereochemical and kinetic considerations. Based on this, we suggest a possible role for quantum processes at important stages of codon reading and translation.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Mathematical Sciences
Research Group:Applied mathematics
Research Field:Biological mathematics
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Jarvis, PD (Dr Peter Jarvis)
UTAS Author:Bashford, JD (Dr James Bashford)
ID Code:80487
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2012-11-01
Last Modified:2014-09-29

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