Fidelity bank card banner Camano banner

Scientists take step toward creating artificial life

By News Express on 01/12/2017

Views: 1,025

•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

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
ASUU strike crumbling . . . Ebonyi State...

New Health Insurance Scheme underway in Anambra —Obiano...

7 killed, SSG, SA to Governor, others arrested...

Police arrest 4 persons for selling petrol to...

My 23rd wedding anniversary with Mrs. Ada Chioma...

Shutdown: Trump praises US civil servants working without...

MRA condemns harassment of Publisher, calls on Police...

Airport Commissioning: Bayelsa Govt. shuts state TV station...

Shell invites bid for new FPSO in Bonga...

40 suicide bombers sneak into Borno

Minister hails NAFEST 2016 for strengthening national unity...

Buhari: The Soyinkas of the South West may...

 

Latest News Supreme Court strikes out Atiku, PDP’s appeal Gunmen kill over a dozen soldiers, wound several others Emerald Energy Institute (UNIPORT) invites applications for Executive Strategy & Leadership Programme •Offers discounts for early birds, bulk subscriptions Ekweremadu tackles Nnamdi Kanu Why Boko Haram is yet to being won — Ex-lawmaker Junaid Mohammed Warning strike: Non-academic staff ground varsities Taraba killings: Detectives trail principal suspect to Middle Belt, Northeast and Southeast Boko Haram war consumes 40,000, displaces 3 million persons Stakeholders fault FG’s planned closure of Enugu Airport 35-year-old dismissed Police Inspector paraded for impersonating DSP in Anambra •CP denies N15m bail fee on Baby Awka Aboru (Lagos) residents decry exploitative bills by Ikeja Electric Ekweremadu’s sartorial indiscretion and IPOB wrestlers, By Meduoye Adeyinka

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (528,338 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (438,322 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (383,156 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (322,002 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (290,011 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (251,084 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (245,717 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (232,516 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (227,738 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (213,983 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (192,914 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (190,838 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (98) Business & Economy (4,396) Business Verdict (79) Columnists (1,094) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (215) Entertainment (647) Features (795) Global Business Monitor (419) ICT Monitor (58) International (3,848) Interview (198) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (166) Maggie's Blog (383) News (50,182) Opinion (1,326) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,318) Religion (1,085) Sports (2,133) 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