Ha! Gotta love Adam Coster‘s cheesy biology joke about tRNA!
But, to get back to (not-really) more serious matters: the basis of the superpowers on Heroes is that Our Heroes (and Villains) have something unusual — and distinctive — going on with their DNA. And since what DNA does is provide the recipe for producing proteins (as well as lots more information like when to produce it, how much to produce, when to stop, etc.), there must be some sort of proteins in our superpowered characters that is different from us regular-powered folks. But even if we put aside the problem of how producing different proteins can allow an individual to fly, I have also wondered how the characters with such a wide variety of powers — which presumably all come from the production of different proteins — can share genetic characteristics that allowed Papa Suresh to identify them.
One possibility: they’re all producing variants on normal proteins.
A recent paper in the journal Nature shows that one gene doesn’t just code for one protein: “it is possible for one gene to produce slightly different forms of the same protein by skipping or including certain sequences from the messenger RNA. Now, an MIT team has shown that this phenomenon, known as alternative splicing, is both far more prevalent and varies more between tissues than was previously believed.”
Maybe the basis of superpowers isn’t in specific genes? Maybe it’s something that tells genes to produce unusual variants of their proteins?