Tuesday, March 5, 2019

New DNA letters!

In Discover Magazine, they have reported that scientists have created four new letters of DNA. In the article they said that Steven Benner and his team have dubbed this new eight letter system as "hachimoji". This work concludes that the four letters we are all familiar with (A, C , G ,T) are not the only possible options for a genetic code.The team used the natural letters as a template and synthesized the new letters for fit the exact size and shape that the four natural ones do.

According to the team the new letters fit four out of the five requirements for life. Those include information storage, information transfer, selection, evolvability and self sustainability. The last one, self sustainability is the missing requirement. Although even without all the requirements they were able to use this new DNA to form molecules that bonded to cancer cells and anthrax toxins. Which shows that these new DNA letters can have some realistic and helpful application into peoples lives. Obviously more work is needed, but this is a very promising start.

1 comment:

  1. I found this article very interesting and believe this is a huge breakthrough for any scientific field if scientists go through with this. I would like to read about the newest research being done on these new DNA letters and specifically how it can benefit the medicine such as treating cancer like mentioned above.