News FocusMolecular Biology

Creation's Seventh Day

Science  14 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5477, pp. 232-235
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5477.232

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Summary

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute are attempting to find out what life would look like if DNA contained more than four nucleotide bases and proteins more than 20 amino acids. By reengineering DNA, RNA, and the proteins that interact with them, they hope to create synthetic organisms with a chemical makeup fundamentally different from all life that has existed on Earth for the last 3.8 billion years. If they succeed, their biochemical reengineering could have a profound effect on everything from basic molecular biology to industrial chemistry.