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


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.”

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