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Synthetic DNA

April 25, 2012

Couple of articles on the evolution of synthetic DNA.

First Article:

Synthetic DNA Created, Evolves on Its Own

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/04/120419-xna-synthetic-dna-evolution-genetics-life-science/

By Christine Dell’Amore

Step aside, DNA—new synthetic compounds called XNAs can also store and copy genetic information, a new study says.

And, in a “big advancement,” these artificial compounds can also be made to evolve in the lab, according to study co-author John Chaput of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.

<snip>

This copying and translating ability allowed for genetic sequences to be copied and passed down again and again—artificial heredity.

Last, the team determined that HNA, one of the six XNA polymers, could respond to selective pressure in a test tube.

Second Article:

Evolution seen in ‘synthetic DNA’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17769529

Researchers have succeeded in mimicking the chemistry of life in synthetic versions of DNA and RNA molecules.

The work shows that DNA and its chemical cousin RNA are not unique in their ability to encode information and to pass it on through heredity.

The work, reported in Science, is promising for future “synthetic biology” and biotechnology efforts.

It also hints at the idea that if life exists elsewhere, it could be bound by evolution but not by similar chemistry.

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