And many more! A friend writes to say,
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Nirenberg and Matthaei experiment , which was the first step in cracking the full 64-codon genetic code. The first codon that was cracked was that UUU=phenylalanine.
And from The Scientist:
On May 27, 1961, Heinrich Matthaei, a postdoc working with NIH scientist Marshal Nirenberg, placed synthetic polyuracil RNA into 20 test tubes to see what it would produce. Each tube contained cytoplasmic extract from Escherichia coli and a specific radiolabeled amino acid. Ribosomes from the tube containing labeled phenylalanine came back ‘hot,’ and the world was a step closer to understanding the genetic code.
– Terry Sharrer, “Nirenberg’s Genetic Code Chart, 1961-66” (2007-06-01)