Scientists invent new letters for the alphabet of life

Breaking News May 10, 2014 00:00

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Scientists have taken the first steps toward writing the blueprint of life in an alphabet unknown to nature, they reported online in the journal Nature.



Until now, biologists who synthesize DNA in the lab have used the same molecules - called bases - that are found in nature.

But Floyd Romesberg of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and colleagues not only created two new bases, but also inserted them into a single-cell organism and found that the invented bases replicate like natural DNA, though more slowly.

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