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Biotech Science

Artificial DNA Replicates and 'Evolves' 126

ananyo writes "Scientists have demonstrated that several lab-made variants of DNA can store and transmit information much like the genuine article. DNA is made up of nucleic acid bases — labelled A, C, G and T — on a backbone made of phosphates and the sugar deoxyribose. The artificial polymers, dubbed XNAs, carry the normal genetic 'alphabet' on a backbone made using different sugars. The researchers engineered enzymes that transcribed DNA into the various XNAs, then back into new DNA strands. Faithful genetic transmission over successive DNA-to-XNA cycles allowed researchers to select for only those XNAs that attached to certain target proteins from a pool of random samples — a process akin to evolution over multiple generations (abstract). The research confirms for the first time that replication, heredity and evolution can take place in artificial DNA-like molecules."
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Artificial DNA Replicates and 'Evolves'

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  • Re:Spongiform cure? (Score:4, Informative)

    by LetterRip ( 30937 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @12:07PM (#39746775)

    We can already tailor antibodies to particular protiens. The issue is that cancer cells, bacteria and viruses are complicated. Their populations change under selective pressure from antibodies so that the protiens that were useful targets beocome useless, etc. While we are finding highly conserved genes to target it is non trivial.

One good suit is worth a thousand resumes.