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Astronomers report planet better than Earth!
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(07-03-2015, 06:24 PM)Bear Wrote: Anyway, tetralife is "just" standard DNA-based life with a different set of ribosomes, so it codes for proteins in quartet groups rather than in triplet groups.

This gives tetralife a 4x larger 'vocabulary' of proteins that it can code for, and makes it possible for tetralife to be constructed with many proteins that are not used in trilife forms such as ourselves.

Triplet coding is for amino acids, not for proteins. Triplet coding with four base pairs gives us 64 possible combinations, in nature only 20 of these are used. The excess combinations are used for redundancy (multiple codes per amino acids means that likely mutations in base pair sequence are less likely to change the amino acid sequence). There have been synthetic amino acids created that presumably a larger coding system would code for but there's an interesting question of whether or not these would be favourable in any environment. Or to put it another way, are the few seen in nature in existence because they are more (bio)chemically favourable?

In any case a protein created by a quad-coding system wouldn't automatically be incompatible, it may even be identical to others if the amino acid sequence is kept. It's if there are any extra AAs that might be toxic or otherwise harmful to humans that would make the difference.
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RE: Astronomers report planet better than Earth! - by Rynn - 07-05-2015, 11:44 PM

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