World’s first stable semi-synthetic organism created

Researchers have now shown that the single-celled organism can hold on to the synthetic base pair as it divides.
Building on earlier research in which they synthesised a DNA base pair, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in the US created a new bacterium that uses the four natural bases (called A, T, C and G), which every living organism possesses, but that also holds as a pair two synthetic bases called X and Y in its genetic code.

In a breakthrough, scientists have created the first stable semi-synthetic organism – a single-celled bacterium – that may play important roles in drug discovery and other applications.

Life’s genetic code has only ever contained four natural bases. These bases pair up to form two base pairs – the rungs of the DNA ladder – and they have simply been rearranged to create all life as we know it, from bacteria to humans. Full Story

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