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Degeneracy

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Degeneracy

(Science: molecular biology) The coding of a single amino acid by more than one base triplet (codon).

Of the 64 possible codons, three are used for stop signals, leaving 61 for only 20 amino acids. Since all codons can be assigned to amino acids, it is clear that many amino acids must be coded by several different codons, in some cases as many as six.