Scientists observe evolution in synthetic DNA

by Anonymous on Apr. 19th, 2012

DNA's double-helix
DNA's double-helixCourtesy ProLithic 3D via Flickr
Using a synthetic polymer known as xeno-nucleic acid (XNA) researchers at the UK Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology report that, "genetic information can be stored in and recovered from six alternative genetic polymers based on simple nucleic acid architectures". In other words, the XNAs displayed the same ability to evolve and pass on hereditary information as natural nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) do. This is pretty wild. Besides being a big step forward in the field of synthetic genetics, it also gives a big boost to the idea that life (in some form other than DNA) could conceivably develop elsewhere in the universe. The study appears in the journal Science

SOURCE
BBC story

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