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: 21

Comment

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

Join Think Atheist

Forum

Atheist undercover

Started by proudAthiest in Small Talk. Last reply by TJ 8 hours ago. 5 Replies

Prayer and hymns at Hallsville High Graduation

Started by Eric Andrist in Church & State. Last reply by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on Friday. 1 Reply

Pattern recognition

Started by Katherine A Flowers in Small Talk. Last reply by Andrew Brown on Friday. 9 Replies

Own It

Started by David Boots in Religion and the Religious, Atheism and Atheists. Last reply by Davis Goodman 17 hours ago. 40 Replies

Blog Posts

Horologium - the clock

Posted by Brad Snowder on May 28, 2017 at 10:30am 2 Comments

Hydra - the water snake

Posted by Brad Snowder on May 21, 2017 at 11:22am 2 Comments

© 2017   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service