David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica (forthcoming)
The genetic code has evolved from its initial non-degenerate wobble version until reaching its present state of degeneracy. By using the stereochemical hypothesis, we revisit the problem of codon assignations to the synonymy classes of amino-acids. We obtain these classes with a simple classifier based on physico-chemical properties of nucleic bases, like hydrophobicity and molecular weight. Then we propose simple RNA (or more generally XNA, with X for D, P or R) ring structures that present, overlap included, one and only one codon by synonymy class as solutions of a combinatory variational problem. We compare these solutions to sequences of present RNAs considered as relics, with a high interspecific invariance, like invariant parts of tRNAs and micro-RNAs. We conclude by emphasizing some optimal properties of the genetic code.
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