Move over, Frankenstein! Your 21st-century counterpart has just been announced.
In true sci-fi fashion, a team of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, Calif., has created a brand-new bacteria based on a genetic structure found nowhere on Earth.
According to lead researcher Floyd Romesberg, the feat involved artificially engineering a unique combination of DNA material — a combination not found in any living creature — and then successfully inserting it into a living cell that usually contains only natural combinations of DNA.
“Life on Earth in all its diversity is encoded by only two pairs of DNA bases, A-T and C-G,” Romesberg explained in an institute news release. “And what we’ve made is an organism that stably contains those two plus a third, unnatural pair of bases.”
“This shows that other solutions to storing [genetic] information are possible,” he added, “and, of course, takes us closer to an expanded-DNA biology that will have many exciting applications — from new medicines to new kinds of nanotechnology.”
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