Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Enzymes grow artificial DNA
Nature News ^ | 19 April 2012 | Helen Shen

Posted on 04/28/2012 11:37:57 AM PDT by neverdem

Synthetic strands with different backbones replicate and evolve just like the real thing.

Nearly all organisms share a single genetic language: DNA. But scientists have now demonstrated that several lab-made variants of DNA can store and transmit information much like the genuine article.

Researchers led by Philipp Holliger, a synthetic biologist at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, say that the alternative molecules could help others to develop new drugs and nanotechnologies. They publish their results today in Science1.

DNA is made up of nucleic acid bases — labelled A, C, G and T — on a backbone made of phosphates and the sugar deoxyribose. The artificial polymers, dubbed XNAs, carry the normal genetic 'alphabet' on a backbone made using different sugars. Scientists have previously developed XNAs that recognize and bind genetic sequences for experimental and biomedical applications, but it is difficult to make them in large quantities.

“Any time you want another XNA molecule, you’ve got to make more, but you can’t copy what you already made — until now,” says Gerald Joyce, a biochemist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

Holliger and his team engineered enzymes that helped six types of XNA to assemble and replicate genetic messages. The enzymes transcribed DNA into the various XNAs, then back into new DNA strands — with 95% accuracy or more.

“This is a huge step,” says Eric Kool, a chemist at Stanford University in California. “I would have predicted this method would work to some extent. I just didn’t know how well.”

Faithful genetic transmission over successive DNA-to-XNA cycles allowed researchers to select for only those XNAs that attached to certain target proteins from a pool of random samples — a process akin to evolution over multiple generations...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: biochemistry; genetics; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; xna
How much of that 5% error rate is because they didn't use deoxyribose in the original XNA?
1 posted on 04/28/2012 11:38:01 AM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem

How do these brilliant people think our cells repair DNA anyway? What a bunch of fools

2 posted on 04/28/2012 11:56:24 AM PDT by STD ([You must help] people in the communityÂ…feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Graphene emits infrared light

Advisers Say National Children's Study Should Represent U.S. Population

Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules

'Junk DNA' Can Sense Viral Infection: Promising Tool in the Battle Between Pathogen and Host

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

3 posted on 04/28/2012 12:26:22 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
“FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list. “

Would you please add me to your health & science ping list?

4 posted on 04/28/2012 1:40:57 PM PDT by hummingbird (Just askin' or just sayin' depending on the subject. Oh yeah - OBAMA SUCKS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
In the end they say, “It’s miles and miles from being a synthetic life form,” says Joyce.

I say good! Let our Creator create life forms.. but can we grow automobiles, appliances, houses . . . .

5 posted on 04/28/2012 4:13:12 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks neverdem. < Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

6 posted on 04/28/2012 8:16:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time --
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson