Synthetic DNA Created, Evolves on Its Own

Christine Dell'Amore

National Geographic News

Published April 19, 2012

Step aside, DNA—new synthetic compounds called XNAs can also store and copy genetic information, a new study says.

And, in a "big advancement," these artificial compounds can also be made to evolve in the lab, according to study co-author John Chaput of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. (See "Evolution vs. Intelligent Design: 6 Bones of Contention.")

Nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA are composed of four bases—A, G, C, and T. Attached to the bases are sugars and phosphates. (Get a genetics overview.)

First, researchers made XNA building blocks to six different genetic systems by replacing the natural sugar component of DNA with one of six different polymers, synthetic chemical compounds.

The team—led by Vitor Pinheiro of the U.K.'s Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology—then evolved enzymes, called polymerases, that can make XNA from DNA, and others that can change XNA back into DNA.

This copying and translating ability allowed for genetic sequences to be copied and passed down again and again—artificial heredity.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/04/120419-xna-syntheti...

Views: 7

Tags: DNA, Evolves, Genetics, Heredity, Synthetic

Comment

You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

Forum

Is WBC an elaborate prank?

Started by Dante in Small Talk. Last reply by matt.clerke 8 minutes ago. 4 Replies

Got Milk? Throw It Away..

Started by Elli Leimone in Society. Last reply by Elli Leimone 25 minutes ago. 35 Replies

On The Lighter Side...

Started by Elli Leimone in Art. Last reply by Elli Leimone 1 hour ago. 2 Replies

Services we love!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2015   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service