Secrets Messages in DNA Activity




DNA contains information coded in the order of its nucleotide building blocks (also called bases). The order of the bases in DNA is not random, but rather has meaning just as the order of letters in a word has meaning. Consider the following word pairs which are constructed of the same letters assembled in different orders 1) read / dear, and 2) stable / tables. The order of the letters determines the meaning stored in the word, just as the order of nucleotides determines the "meaning" of the information stored in DNA.

To understand how information is coded in the order of the nucleotides in DNA, use the Decoding Key below to reveal the following secret message:


Coded Message:





Decoded Message:

_________ - _________ - _________ - _________ - _________ - __________



Decoding Key:

ABC = a

DEF = d

GHI = e

JKL = f

MNO = h

PQR = i

STU = m

VWX = n

YZA = o

BCD = r

EFG = s

HIJ = t

KLM = w


How does this process of message coding and decoding relate to DNA and genetically inherited traits?




Christina M. Sax

April 11 2002