JAN 28, 2019 07:31 PM PST

Expanding the Genetic Code

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

The genetic code that creates all life on Earth consists of four nucleotide bases: Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, and Guanine. In the double-stranded helix of DNA, these bases pair up with each other in a certain way. In recent years, researchers have been able to expand the genetic code with new, synthetic bases. 

Related: Semi-synthetic Bacterial Cell now Makes Unnatural Proteins

These novel bases have long chemical names, but they’ve been abbreviated X and Y. They are called xeno nucleic acids or XNAs. It took many years for researchers to figure out how to pair them properly within a genome. Now they’ve been able to do it, opening up many possibilities for creating synthetic organisms. Learn more about the potential uses of such organisms from the video.  

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
OCT 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 21, 2019
The Hard Life of a Polar Bear Cub
The Arctic is an unforgiving land of ice and snow, and at first glance, it seems like a desolate place to be. But a small subset of animals, including gray...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
When Can We Expect Another Nearby Supernova?
Once most stars reach the end of their life cycle, they’ll explode with a gleaming white-hot intensity, an event that’s often referred to by as...
OCT 21, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 21, 2019
Could A Concrete Tower Be the Next Breakthrough in Energy Storage?
Energy Vault, a Switzerland-based startup company recently received a big boost of funding to bring their low tech, almost obscure energy storage solution...
OCT 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 21, 2019
North American Bird Populations Fell 29% Over 50 Years, But is it Too Late?
Birds are often at the forefront of interest when it comes to wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Sadly, new scientific research suggests that bird pop...
OCT 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 21, 2019
Imagine a World Without Insects...
People tend to dislike insects, especially ant, beetle, cockroach, and mosquito varieties, but before suggesting that a world without insects would be a wo...
OCT 21, 2019
Cardiology
OCT 21, 2019
Parkinson's Disease is Present in the Blood
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system. Often starting with a barely noticeable tremor in one hand, the disease affects a...
Loading Comments...