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Explain why Genetic Code is called "Rosetta Stone" of life?

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Explain why Genetic Code is called "Rosetta Stone" of life?

Postby baffled0s2dent » Wed May 30, 2012 11:08 pm

This is a question from my last biology test. My answer received a zero. Read my response and let me know if you think this warrants a zero.
Question: Explain why the genetic code is often called the "Rosetta Stone" of life.
1.) Because it provides the three letter triplet code on DNA that becomes the codon on messenger RNA that is used to produce amino acids. The amino acids are linked by dehydration synthesis into polypeptides and proteins. 2.) The three letter codons code for the same amino acid in all living organisms. In providing the amino acids that each codon represents the Genetic Code accomplishes one and two above and is thus called the Rosetta Stone of life.

I realize that this response is a bit ackward due to poor word choice but I wrote it along with other tests the same day and was wired on caffeine.
Do you agree that this response warrants a zero out of two marks?
Last edited by JackBean on Thu May 31, 2012 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed quoting
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Re: Explain why Genetic Code is called "Rosetta Stone" of life?

Postby bpickering » Thu May 31, 2012 2:25 am

I'm a fourth year biology student and I think that you answered that question very well, probably better than a lot of other students. I can't see why your prof would have marked your answer as incorrect. We have all had to deal with profs that ask cryptic questions and want specific answeres and if we don't give them the specific answer that they want, they mark it wrong. It is usually a case of the prof not asking understandable questions or not clarifying what it is that they want. This, of course, is very unfair to us students; but, take heart, it says more about your profs shortcomings than your own. The best thing that you can do is talk your your prof about the question, if he (she?) can give you a reasonable explanation for why he marked your question wrong, then you learned something you probably wont ever forget! If however, he cannot give you a good reason then you should strongly ask that he correct your mark. You should at the very least get partial marks. Again, as far as I can tell you answered the question your prof asked, if he wanted a different answer then he should have asked a different question.
Good luck!
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Postby JorgeLobo » Thu May 31, 2012 3:08 am

Perhaps "...codon on messenger RNA that is used to produce amino acids" vs. ... to produce proteins. mRNA does not produce amino acids.
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Re: Explain why Genetic Code is called "Rosetta Stone" of life?

Postby biologue » Thu May 31, 2012 4:28 am

Is this a history test or a biology test? I hope the teacher was not expecting to grade you on the Rosetta Stone's role in history. You come at the topic in a roundabout fashion, but essentially have it right. The teacher probably had two or four key points or words they wanted to see. You should ask them what those key points were.
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Re: Explain why Genetic Code is called "Rosetta Stone" of life?

Postby brycehughes » Thu May 31, 2012 4:41 am

Um, this answer is completely correct. mRNA, along with tRNA and rRNA, does produce amino acids (a protein, of course!). Not sure what your prof was thinking....
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Postby JackBean » Thu May 31, 2012 5:58 am

IMHO the word your prof wanted to see is "translate", i.e. Genetic code is translation of DNA sequence into amino acid sequence in proteins.
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby JorgeLobo » Thu May 31, 2012 11:50 am

Disagree - mRNA does not produce amino acid, essential ones in humans coming from diet rather than synthesis de novo. It the blueprint for synthesis of proteins that are composed of amino acids. The bricklayer doesn;t make the bricks. In any case, the student did not broaden the concept beyond mRNA.

But baffled - why not just ask your professor re. the correct answer and what was wrong with your response? I've always felt that showed an interest in the student to learn the subject matter rather than just pass the test.
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Re:

Postby JackBean » Thu May 31, 2012 12:37 pm

JorgeLobo wrote:But baffled - why not just ask your professor re. the correct answer and what was wrong with your response? I've always felt that showed an interest in the student to learn the subject matter rather than just pass the test.

Agree!
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Re:

Postby OdinsRaven » Thu May 31, 2012 7:04 pm

JackBean wrote:IMHO the word your prof wanted to see is "translate", i.e. Genetic code is translation of DNA sequence into amino acid sequence in proteins.


I strongly agree. The Rosetta Stone basically was an ancient tablet we used to translate multiple languages. The genetic code is similar such that its four basic nucleotides are arranged in an order like letters in a word and each code (in this case codon) can then be translated to help create other things. Think of the four nucleotides as letters in an alphabet. There are many different combinations of these letters which can translate into words, in this case amino acids. Amino acids can be thought of as being words in a paragraph. The paragraph being the proteins. Proteins, or paragraphs, then come together to complete a final product, or in this case a Rosetta Stone.

Just a shot in the dark...
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Postby citroenboom » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:26 am

You seem to understand the principles of the genetic code. But, sorry, you failed coupling it to the Rosetta stone. Hope you passed the test.

This stone appeared to be the key to understand several languages. Just as the genetic code is the key to understand the way life functions and the aa sequence. It doens't tell the whole story, but the discovery of the fact that DNA and not the AA sequence carries the basic info opened a whole new world in science.

So I agree to OdinsRaven. 'translate' a key in the answer.

I can't tell if zero is reasonable. If it is zero out of 5, I think not. If it is zero out of 2, yes it is.
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Re: Explain why Genetic Code is called "Rosetta Stone" of life?

Postby Tbuie » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:30 pm

Our genetic information is translated into codons, which can then be read and utilized by our RNA. It's like translating it into a different language. I think that is more along the lines of what your professor was looking for. Your answer was correct but not the answer to that question. You really just described the process and did not relate it to Rosetta Stone. I think this analogy is dumb anyway. Sorry you missed the question.
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Postby Fearnot » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:55 am

Well, I guess u never knew what the "rosetta stone" was. Your prof should have explained what rosetta stone is before asking such a question knowing that u studied biology and not history. From ur answer, if u knew the stone u would have related the answer well and got full marks. I wouldn't have done better if i never knew what the stone is. He should have atleast given u marks for knowing how the genetic code relates to life!!! Please lecturers be more sensitive in your questions, we are students not professors to think that we know everything!
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