Scientists Add Letters to DNA’s Alphabet, Raising Hope and Fear

Reality meets the X-Files. It was only a matter of time before this theoretical fancy became realisable. RNA of course uses a different base pair combination to DNA – Uracil rather than Thymine to pair with Adenine – so A-T C-G is not set in stone, neither is A-U C-G for that matter.
This research however takes the novel step of adding a new base pair combination which is successfully expressed following replication for as long as the feedstock of the synthetic novel bases is maintained.
The scene of Mulder and Scully coming across a nursery of human-Roswell alien crossbreeds will stay on the DVD though for the foreseeable future.


via Scientists Add Letters to DNA’s Alphabet, Raising Hope and Fear –


Scientists reported Wednesday that they had taken a significant step toward altering the fundamental alphabet of life — creating an organism with an expanded artificial genetic code in its DNA.

The accomplishment might eventually lead to organisms that can make medicines or industrial products that cells with only the natural genetic code cannot.

The scientists behind the work at the Scripps Research Institute have already formed a company to try to use the technique to develop new antibiotics, vaccines and other products, though a lot more work needs to be done before this is practical.

The work also gives some support to the concept that life can exist elsewhere in the universe using genetics different from those on Earth.

“This is the first time that you have had a living…

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Author: gogwit

One foot in Sanity, the other in the adjoining parish, usually in the vicinity of the boundary between the two but sometimes straying into the main square of either and very occasionally taking occupation of the Town Hall...

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