Scientists at Cambridge University have managed to create a synthetic genetic material that can fully develop and maintain information for many generations in the same way as does the DNA. This breakthrough in genetics, is expected to improve research in the field of medicine and biotechnology, and will allow scientists to better understand the origin of life on Earth by the appearance of the first molecules billions of years ago.
In addition, the creation of artificial DNA model will help researchers to create new life forms in the laboratory.
Specialists in laboratory MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, developing chemical treatments to include DNA and RNA, the molecular basis of all known life forms in six alternative genetic polymers called - XNA.
The process involves the exchange of ribose and deoxyribose (in DNA and RNA) to other molecules. It was found that XNA may form double stranded DNA, and to be more stable than natural genetic material.
In the journal Science, the researchers describe how they made one of the XNA foothold in protein - an ability that would mean that the polymers can be used as drugs that act as antibodies.
Philip Hollidzher, senior author of the study, said that the work has proved that the two distinctive sign of life - heredity and development - are in XNA, therefore Connection XNAyavlyayutsya possible alternatives to the use of natural genetic material.
Vitor Pinheiro, co-author of the experiment, said the research could help scientists learn how DNA and RNA are so critical in the development of life, and may even help in the search for extraterrestrial organisms. "If genetic system should not be based on DNA and RNA that then you define as life and how do you are looking for life?" he asks.
In an accompanying article, Gerald Joyce, from the Research Institute of Scripps in La Jolla, California, says the study declares’ era of synthetic genetics with applications for exobiology (the science that deals with extraterrestrial life), biotechnology and understanding of life itself. " It adds: "Construction of genetic systems based on alternative platforms chemicals may eventually lead to the synthesis of new forms of life."
Original: Physorg com