Skip to comments.Enzymes grow artificial DNA
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, youve got to make more, but you cant 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 didnt 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 nature.com ...
How do these brilliant people think our cells repair DNA anyway? What a bunch of fools
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I say good! Let our Creator create life forms.. but can we grow automobiles, appliances, houses . . . .
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