First living thing with ‘alien’ DNA created in the lab


Image: extremetecg.com
Scientists have succeeded in creating the first organism with “alien” DNA.

By Sebastian AnthonyEXTREMETECH

In normal DNA, which can be found within the genes of every organism , the twin strands of the double helix are bonded together with four bases, known as T, G, A, and C. In this new organism, the researchers added two new bases, X and Y, creating a new form of DNA that (as far as we know) has never occurred after billions of years of evolution on Earth or elsewhere in the universe. Remarkably, the semi-synthetic alien organism continued to reproduce normally, preserving the new alien DNA during reproduction. In the future, this breakthrough should allow for the creation of highly customized organisms — bacteria, animals, humans — that behave in weird and wonderful ways that mundane four-base DNA would never allow.

This landmark study, 15 years in the making, was carried out by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute and published in Nature today [doi:10.1038/nature13314 – „A semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet“]. In normal DNA, two separate strands are entwined in a double helix. These strands are connected together via four different bases, adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G). A always bonds with T, and C always bonds with G, creating a fairly simple “language” of base pairs — ATCGAAATGCC, etc. Combine a few dozen base pairs together in a long strand of DNA and you then have a gene, which tells the organism how to produce a certain protein. If you know the sequence of letters down one strand of the helix, you always know what other letter is. This “complementarity” is the fundamental reason why a DNA helix can be split down the middle, and then have the other half perfectly recreated. There, I just explained in about 150 words two of the most vital processes to all life that we know of.

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1 Comment

  1. Unser Erbgut hat etwa 3,27 Milliarden Basenpaare aus Adenin, Cytosin, Guanin und Thymin. Es enthält 10% DNA-Schrott von Viren eingeschleust über Generationen vererbt. Die hominide DNA Sequenz ist keine perfekte Struktur, einige der Teile funktionieren eher schlecht, andere sind potentiell schädlich. Das Erbgut der Schimpansen weicht um 1,6 % von dem des Homo-Sapiens-Sapiens ab, die Unterschiede zwischen Affenarten in Afrika sind bei früher Abspaltung deutlich größer. Das Mammut variiert vom Elefanten genetisch um 0,6 %, vor 500.000 Jahren entsteht das kleinere Wollhaarmammut, welches bis vor 3.700 Jahren auf der Wrangel Insel überlebt. Katastrophen und die Klimawechsel beeinflussen DNA Strukturen fortlaufend,

    Die Musels sollten akzeptieren zu etwa 90% mit Schweinen verwandt zu sein. Das hat Allah noch nicht gewuß und dem Kinderficker Mohammed mit seiner 9-jährigen Aisha verschwiegen

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