Each amino acid is made of three base triplet codes called codons. Codons are made of three combinations of four available nucleotides. There are 64 potential combinations of codons.
Which codons are used determine the type of amino acid created. The order of the codons in the triplet sequence determines which protein is created. Sixty-one of the 64 combinations create the amino acids in proteins. The remaining combinations create the terminate, or stop sequences, of the chain. Multiple codons, called synonym codons, can code for the same amino acid. When synonym codons are present in a chain, the chain is said to be degenerate.