© KIMBERLY BATTISTA

DNA-to-Dish Recipe

To generate diets with species-specific proportions of amino acids, first sequence all the protein-coding regions (the exome) from an organism’s genome and determine the precise proportion of each of the 20 encoded amino acids (five of the 20 are shown as colored codons in DNA, with their respective abundances displayed in the bar chart). Next, mix amino acids at this exact ratio with other nutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, and so on) and serve. Animals on this exome-matched diet will grow larger than those on equivalent diets that have discordant amino acid compositions.

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