On Degenerate Templates and the Adaptor Hypothesis: A Note for the RNA Tie Club
In this, one of the most important unpublished articles in the history of science, Crick predicted the existence of adaptor
molecules and enzymes for each of the twenty common amino acids. These adaptors, which were in fact found shortly thereafter
and were later named transfer RNA, were essential in assembling amino acids into the polypeptide chains of which proteins
consist. Moreover, Crick here introduced the concept of a "degenerate" genetic code, meaning a code in which more
than one combination of DNA bases could specify a particular amino acid, as was later shown to be the case.
The RNA Tie Club was a group of twenty molecular biologists (one for each amino acid) chosen by the physicist and cosmologist
George Gamow in 1953 to stimulate the exchange of ideas about the nature of the genetic code.
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Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers