By Gage Simpson, Owner of New Frontier News

NEW FRONTIER NEWS – A Scientist at Synthorx Inc, which is a San Diego genetic lab founded by Floyd Romesberg, have successfully added two new chemical base pairs to the four already present. The current four make up the letters: A (Adenine), C (Cytosine), T (Thymine), G (Guanine) and the two new pairs X and Y.

The new base pairs were added to E. Coli bacteria, which has just now been able to keep in the cells indefinitely (with some extra management). The project has been going on since 2009, when they created around 300 nucleotides, and having decide which pair would make the most suitable fit for life. They then modified the cell to have a modified transporter protein called nucleotide triphosphate transporter (NTT) protein, which allows nucleotide triphosphates to enter the cell and replenish the new base pair, which are made by these materials. The semi-synthetic E. Coli must constantly be in a solution of nucleoside triphosphates. This is due to this material degrading naturally in one to two days.

While the move could be seen as a step towards creating new life, the actual objective is to help create new synthetic proteins, which could improve current medicine. They tested this new property by instructing the cells to produce a glowing green protein using on of the unnatural base pairs.

The next step for scientist is to make the cell’s wanting to keep the new base pairs essential to the survival of the E. Coli, which will require the cells to actively maintain the new pairs.

=References=

Morin, M. (2017). Scientists add new letters to bacteria’s genetic ‘alphabet’. Retrieved from latimes.com: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-scientists-add-new-letters-to-bacterias-genetic-alphabet-20140506-story.html

Regalado , A. (2017). Semi-Synthetic Life Form Now Fully Armed and Operational. Retrieved from technologyreview.com: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609567/semi-synthetic-life-form-now-fully-armed-and-operational/

Steenhuysen, J. (2017). U.S. scientists take step toward creating artificial life. Retrieved from reuters.com: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-science-synthetic-life/u-s-scientists-take-step-toward-creating-artificial-life-idUSKBN1DT2ZB

Zimm, A. (2017). Scientists Build Life Form That Adds Letters to Genetic Alphabet. Retrieved from washingtonpost.com: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/scientists-build-life-form-that-adds-letters-to-genetic-alphabet/2014/05/07/717b2c18-d622-11e3-8a78-8fe50322a72c_story.html?utm_term=.57cd7077dece

 

 

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