Fidelity bank banner Camano banner
Scientists take step toward creating artificial life

By News Express on 01/12/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 912

•DNA
•DNA

In a major step toward creating artificial life, U.S. researchers have developed a living organism that incorporates both natural and artificial DNA and is capable of creating entirely new, synthetic proteins.

The work, published in the journal Nature, brings scientists closer to the development of designer proteins made to order in a laboratory.

Previous work by Floyd Romesberg, a chemical biologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, showed that it was possible to expand the genetic alphabet of natural DNA beyond its current four letters: adenine (A), cytosine(C), guanine (G) and thymine(T).

In 2014, Romesberg and colleagues created a strain of E. coli bacteria that contained two unnatural letters, X and Y.

In the latest work, Romesberg’s team has shown that this partially synthetic form of E. coli can take instructions from this hybrid genetic alphabet to make new proteins.

“This is the first time ever a cell has translated a protein using something other than G, C, A or T,” Romesberg said.

Although the actual changes to the organism were small, the feat is significant, he said in a telephone interview. “It’s the first change to life ever made.”

Objective: Treatments for diseases

It’s a goal Romesberg has been working toward for 20 years. Creating new forms of life, however, is not the main point. Romesberg is interested in using this expanded genetic alphabet to create new types of proteins that can be used to treat disease.

In 2014, he formed a company called Synthorx Inc., which is working on developing new protein-based treatments.

“A lot of proteins that you want to use as drugs get cleared in the kidney very quickly,” Romesberg said. The new system would allow scientists to attach fat molecules to drugs to keep them in the body longer.

Romesberg is aware that the creation of semisynthetic organisms might raise concerns of hybrid life forms spreading beyond the lab, but the system they used makes such an escape unlikely.

For example, in natural DNA, base pairs are attracted to each other through the bonding of hydrogen atoms. Romesberg’s X and Y bases are attracted through an entirely different process, which prevents them from accidentally bonding with natural bases.

And because cells cannot make their own X and Y without the addition of certain chemicals, the semisynthetic organisms cannot live outside a laboratory.

“They can’t escape,” Romesberg said. “There’s no ‘Jurassic Park’ scenario.” (Reuters)


 

Source News Express

Posted 01/12/2017 9:16:46 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Senate, Reps are united on 2016 Budget —Senator...

CBN moves to tame inflation, mops up N200...

Cut the risk: how to diversify your investments...

Economy: Group to empower 100,000 innovators

Cash crunch hits National Confab •Delegates ejected from...

Benue Amnesty Programme ends, 366 arms recovered from...

Protesting Abia pensioners block federal road, berate Governor...

Saraki leads NASS delegation to Paris Conference on...

Today’s weather forecast, By The Nigerian Meteorological Agency...

New Lagos Commissioner Edgal Imohimi meets Area Commanders,...

Stop further defection of PDP members, Akpabio urges...

Look out for cluster bombs —Defence Headquarters

 

Latest News Crisis brews as APC Governors move to sack Okorocha BREAKING: Court stops collation of Bauchi guber election result Explosions, gun shots as Army battles Boko Haram insurgents in Adamawa Obama's economic adviser commits suicide Yar’Adua Foundation, others to lose N4.8bn property for evading tax — ICPC How to get your accounts verified on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook EFCC clamps down on outgoing governors Landmines kill eight in Borno community Only candidates who undergo biometric verification will take UTME — JAMB Guber Election Crisis: Army lied against Wike, aides — Rivers State Government Famous Nigerian Curator, Okwui Enwezor, dies of cancer at 55 Obiano pledges to expand Anambra’s economic base

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (460,239 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (410,027 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (345,898 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (296,824 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (261,218 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (236,275 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (222,306 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (204,042 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (192,318 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (176,741 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (176,426 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (175,575 views)

 

NLNG call for entries

CBN banner

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (81) Business & Economy (4,088) Business Verdict (59) Columnists (1,005) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (596) Features (724) Global Business Monitor (327) ICT Monitor (23) International (3,195) Interview (174) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (153) Maggie's Blog (189) News (44,006) Opinion (1,204) Pidgin (17) Politics (10,254) Religion (960) Sports (1,924) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera