Wednesday, May 7, 2014

artificial genetic code

Scientists reported Wednesday that they had taken a significant step toward altering the fundamental alphabet of life — creating for the first time an organism with artificial building blocks in its genetic code.
The accomplishment might eventually lead to organisms that can make medicines or industrial products that cannot be made by cells with only natural DNA. The scientists behind the work at the Scripps Research Institute have already formed a company to try to use the technique to develop new antibiotics, vaccines and other products.
The work also gives some backing to the concept that life can exist elsewhere in the universe using genetics different from that on earth.
-- Full story: New York Times, May 7, 2014: "Scientists Add Letters to DNA’s Alphabet, Raising Hope and Fear"

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