Nucleic acids are made up of bases attached to sugars connected by phosphates.
As best as I can tell from the newspaper article (and since it’s about science, the writer probably barely knows what he’s writing about), the researchers just changed the structure of the sugars to something identifiably different, but not drastically so. Kind of like putting a Hummer body on an F-150 frame - you can do it, it’s kind of neat, but it’s not like you invented a hovercraft or something.
Looks like a nice piece of work, but it’s not a new, revolutionary precursor to a novel form of life, or at least that’s not likely - I don’t expect ET will be writing home about it.
From page 8 of Darwins Ghost by Steve Jones. The best evidence for a theory comes when two experiments give the same result.
Given the above, it looks like the theory has been validated six times.