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

Belief

Started by Chris Russell in Small Talk Jun 20. 0 Replies

Agnosticism

Started by Chris Russell in Small Talk. Last reply by Chris Russell Jun 6. 11 Replies

I'm not an atheist anymore...

Started by Belle Rose in Small Talk. Last reply by Pope Beanie Jun 12. 19 Replies

Alex J O'Connor

Started by JadeBlackOlive in Small Talk. Last reply by Davis Goodman Jun 1. 3 Replies

Blog Posts

Equuleus - the little horse

Posted by Brad Snowder on July 9, 2017 at 1:08am 0 Comments

Horrified

Posted by Mary smith on July 2, 2017 at 12:35pm 0 Comments

© 2017   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service