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Problem : Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. What are the building blocks of amino acids?

Each codon in an mRNA chain specifies a specific amino acid. A codon is composed of 3 nucleotides. Three nucleotides make up an amino acid.

Problem : Why is the genetic code said to be "degenerate"?

There are more codon combinations than there are amino acids. The genetic code is degenerate because more than one codon sequence can code for the same amino acid.

Problem : There are three codons that do not specify an amino acid. What is the function of these codons?

The three codons are stop codons and signal translation termination.

Problem : What is the name given to codons that specify for the same amino acids?

Codons that specify for the same amino acid are called synonyms.