A comparison between the triplets tentatively deduced by these methods with the changes in amino acid sequence produced by mutation shows a fair measure of agreement.
It now seems certain that the amino acid sequence of any protein is determined by the sequence of bases in some region of a particular nucleic acid molecule.
It now seems very likely that many of the 64 triplets, possibly most of them, may code one amino acid or another, and that in general several distinct triplets may code one amino acid.
This seems highly likely, especially as it has been shown that in several systems mutations affecting the same amino acid are extremely near together on the genetic map.
Unfortunately it makes the unambiguous determination of triplets by these methods much more difficult than would be the case if there were only one triplet for each amino acid.
The balance of evidence both from the cell-free system and from the study of mutation, suggests that this does not occur at random, and that triplets coding the same amino acid may well be rather similar.
A final proof of our ideas can only be obtained by detailed studies on the alterations produced in the amino acid sequence of a protein by mutations of the type discussed here.
The meaning of this observation is unclear, but it raises the unfortunate possibility of ambiguous triplets; that is, triplets which may code more than one amino acid. However one would certainly expect such triplets to be in a minority.
It is one of the more striking generalizations of biochemistry - which surprisingly is hardly ever mentioned in the biochemical textbooks - that the twenty amino acids and the four bases, are, with minor reservations, the same throughout Nature.
It seems likely that most if not all the genetic information in any organism is carried by nucleic acid - usually by DNA, although certain small viruses use RNA as their genetic material.