Translating the RNA message, written as a sequence of nucleotides, into protein language, written as a sequence of amino acids, requires the use of a decoder, called the genetic code. Nucleotides in the RNA message are read 3 at a time. Each nucleotide triplet, called a codon, is translated, using the genetic code, into a particular amino acid. The genetic code is universal; it is used by nearly all living things, from bacteria to humans.

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.