Essays on Science and SocietyAMERSHAM PRIZE WINNER

Expanding the Genetic Code

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Science  24 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5645, pp. 584-585
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5645.584

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Proteins, the molecules that carry out most of the functions required for life, are built from 20 genetically encoded amino acids In his essay that won the Amersham Biosciences and Science Prize for young scientists, Lei Wang describes how he engineered the bacteria Escherichia coli to make unnatural amino acids. The biosynthesis strategy mimics the way that the common 20 amino acids are encoded. These additional building blocks allow the design of proteins with new properties.