The Sequence Hypothesis and The Central Dogma

My own thinking (and that of many of my colleagues) is based on two general principles, which I shall call the Sequence Hypothesis and the Central Dogma. The direct evidence for both of them is negligible, but I have found them to be of great help in getting to grips with these very complex problems. I present them here in the hope that others can make similar use of them. Their speculative nature is emphasized by their names. It is an instructive exercise to attempt to build a useful theory without using them. One generally ends in the wilderness.

The Sequence Hypothesis

This has already been referred to a number of times. In its simplest form it assumes that the specificity of a piece of nucleic acid is expressed solely by the sequence of its bases, and that this sequence is a (simple) code for the amino acid sequence of a particular protein...

The Central Dogma

This states that once 'information' has passed into protein it cannot get out again. In more detail, the transfer of information from nucleic acid to nucleic acid, or from nucleic acid to protein may be possible, but transfer from protein to protein, or from protein to nucleic acid is impossible. Information means here the precise determination of sequence, either of bases in the nucleic acid or of amino acid residues in the protein. This is by no means universally held—Sir Macfarlane Burnet, for example, does not subscribe to it—but many workers now think along these lines. As far as I know it has not been explicitly stated before.


Crick describes two guiding principles of understanding how DNA produces proteins. The second is interesting for the use of the term 'information.'

Folksonomies: genetics information dna

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 On Protein Synthesis
Proceedings of Meetings and Symposia>Speech:  Crick , Francis (1958), On Protein Synthesis, Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology: The Biological Replication of Macromolecules, 1958, 12, 152-3, Retrieved on 2012-03-17
Folksonomies: dna