Experiment 1: Coding
In this experiment, you will model the effects of mutations on the genetic code. Some mutations cause no structural or functional change to proteins while others can have devastating affects on an organism.
Blue Beads Yellow Beads
1. Using the red, blue, yellow and green beads, devise and lay out a three color code for each of the following letters (codon). For example Z = green : red : green.
In the spaces below the letter, record your “code”.
L: red green red blue yellow blue red blue red green yellow green red green blue yellow green blue
U: blue yellow green blue green green green red green red blue yellow yellow green yellow
Create…show more content… The mmuse likes cheese. No, the sentence still does not make sense. There are no other words that will make sense to the sentence.
c. Replace the 20th bead and add one between bead numbers 50 and 51. What does the sentence say now? Does the sentence still make sense?
The mouse likescheese. No, the sentence does not make sense.
d. In 3.a (above) you mutated one letter. What role do you think the redundancy of the genetic code plays in this type of change?
The genetic code has 64 codons, which codes for 20 amino acids. Redundancies of the genetic code allow different variation of codons to code for the same amino acids. The benefit of this is that even if there is a mistake in the base pairing, the amino acid might be unaffected. This allows amino acids to be represented in more than one combination.
e. Based on your observations, why do you suppose the mutations we made in 3.b and 3.c are called frame shift mutations?
Frame shift mutations are the type of mutation caused by the addition or deletion of a base pair in the DNA resulting in the translation of the genetic code in an unnatural reading frame from the position of the mutation to the end of the gene. In the mutations, we added and deleted beads resulting in an incorrect sentence that does not make sense.
f. Which mutations do you suspect have the greatest consequence? Why?
I think the Frame shift mutations would have the greatest consequence because DNA is read in triplets so everything would get moved