In California, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco used a technique called ribosome profiling have found a hidden, new layer of genetic information, which enables the measurement of gene activity inside living cells — including the speed with which proteins are made.
The team found that the speed change is caused by information contained in what are known as redundant codons — small pieces of DNA that form part of the genetic code.
They were called “redundant” because they were previously thought to contain duplicative rather than unique instructions. This new discovery challenges half a century of fundamental assumptions in biology. It may also help speed up the industrial production of proteins, which is crucial for making biofuels and biological drugs.