Activity: decoding DNA

DNA uses a triplet code. For every three letters in the DNA code that the body ‘reads’, it adds one type of protein building block (called amino acids) to a protein. Proteins are important - our body is almost all protein! For example, your hair is made of one kind of protein, and the colour of your eyes is created by another kind of protein.

Each amino acid has a letter. Decode the DNA sequences by reading the DNA three letters at a time and writing the amino acid letter in the box underneath. This will reveal hidden messages! Click here to find the secret DNA messages you need to decode and click here to download your DNA decoding sheet! Or, click here to download a large-print, screen-reader friendly version of the activity

Note: there are only 20 amino acids, so there isn’t one for EVERY letter. For this activity, the researchers have added in the other 6 letters to help you write messages – the extra amino acid letters are coloured in orange.

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