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The Genetic Code

DNA is like a secret code made of millions and millions of words. The "words" in DNA are called genes. These genes give the 'instructions" for how living things work. If scientists want to figure out what certain genes do, they have to crack their codes. Although scientists have not figured out all of the genes that make up human DNA, they have been able to decipher so.me parts of the code.

On this sheet is a message written in a secret code. A different symbol stands for each letter of the alphabet. Even though you can't read the words, you can look for patterns and sequences in the messages.

>   "  ?   $  "  ?          @   [  (  $  &  %           (  ]          ^  !  <  <   (  ?  &         $   "  \  ?

___________        ___________           ___        ____________ _________

^  !  <  <   (  ?  &          $   "  \  ?

___________          _________

 

^  !  <  <   (  ?  &           $   "  \  ?

____________        _________

 

>   "  ?   $  "  ?          @   [  (  $  &  %           (  ]           ^  !  <  <   (  ?  &        $   "  \  ?

__________        ____________          ___         ____________       _______

>  +           ^  !  (  [           <  !  $  +

____      _______      __________

1. Look carefully at the coded messages. Find a word or phrase that is repeated several times. Underline the word or phrase.

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2. Find the symbol that appears most often. Write it here.

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3.Make a double line under the words that have double letters in  them.

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4.Find a letter that might be a vowel. Why do you think it is a vowel?

 

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These pages authored and maintained by Marcella Dawson. Revised 3/2002 . Copyright 1995 CRPC GirlTECH. All rights reserved. . Email your comments. These pages were developed through GirlTECH '96, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.