It’s DNA Jim, but not as we know it | Science News


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It’s DNA Jim, but not as we know it

Artificial DNA variant could aid medicine, biotechnology and nanotechnology

4:10pm, July 9, 2008

If aliens have DNA, it might look something like this.

Chemists have synthesized a DNA-like molecule using unnatural versions of the A, T, C and G “letters” that make up the genetic code. The resulting molecule has greater structural stability than natural DNA and would resist breakdown by DNA-degrading enzymes in cells, the team reports in the July 23 Journal of the American Chemical Society.

“The artificial DNA may be a superior building scaffold for constructing medical and nanotechnological structures,” says lead scientist Masahiko Inouye of the University of Toyama in Japan. “Our research opens the door to ... creating DNA-like molecules similar to natural DNA in terms of their ability for potential information storage.”

While other variants of DNA and its cousin RNA have been made before, the new molecule is the first to have unnatura

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