Posts Tagged ‘Nucleic acids’

A form of life that can stably store genetic information using a six-letter, three-base-pair alphabet?

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

For around 16 years, Floyd Romesberg’s group has been exploring un-natural alternatives (UBPs) to the Watson-Crick base pairs (C-G and A-T) that form part of the genetic code in DNA. Recently they have had remarkable success with one such base pair, called X and Y (for the press) and dNaMTP and d5SICSTP (in scholarly articles).[cite]10.1073/pnas.1708259114[/cite],[cite]10.1073/pnas.1205176109[/cite] This extends the genetic coding from the standard 20 amino acids to the possibility of up to 172 amino acids. Already, organisms engineered to contain X-Y pairs in their DNA have been shown to express entirely new (and un-natural) proteins.