Elements S4 • E9

A New Genetic Alphabet Is Creating Things Nature Has Never Seen





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Published on Jan 10, 2019

If you thought DNA was made of just A, T, G and C-- think again. Scientists have been expanding these options, and the resulting organisms could create the impossible.

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Organisms created with synthetic DNA pave way for entirely new life forms
“Now, the first living organisms to thrive with an expanded genetic code have been made by researchers in work that paves the way for the creation and exploitation of entirely new life forms.”

We’ve added letters to the genetic code – and the results are amazing
“Benner and a few others have been chasing the dream of expanding the genetic alphabet for decades. Finally, one of them has succeeded in creating a life form that is not only founded on entirely novel genetic letters, but is also capable of using the instructions to assemble materials that incorporate wholly unnatural building blocks. This is life, but written with a whole new alphabet.”

Scientists Create First Semi-Synthetic Organism that Stores and Retrieves Unnatural Information
“These letters are the DNA bases G, C, A and T—and they spell out the instructions for making proteins in every organism on Earth. But scientists in a lab at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been working on something new.”


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