20 Apr '12, 1pm

Artificial nucleic acid molecules can work the same as DNA

Artificial nucleic acid molecules can work the same as DNA

Synthetic molecules resembling DNA can function and evolve just like the real thing, its developers say. These new, unnatural building blocks could be more useful than DNA or its closely related biomolecule, RNA, in a variety of medical and biotechnology applications, researchers added. Other investigators noted they could even lead to novel forms of life . DNA is essentially made of four different kinds of molecules known as nucleic acids, commonly referred to by their initials, A, G, C and T. These run along a backbone made of sugars and phosphate groups. Scientists call their artificial nucleic-acidlike molecules XNA, in which the natural sugar component has been replaced by one of six alternative organic compounds. These XNA molecules all can bind to DNA and RNA. The researchers also have developed enzymes that can synthesize XNA from a DNA template, plus others that c...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/storie...

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