Synthetic biology: New letters for life's alphabet

  title={Synthetic biology: New letters for life's alphabet},
  author={Ross Thyer and Jared W Ellefson},
The five bases found in nucleic acids define the 'alphabet' used to encode life on Earth. The construction of an organism that stably propagates an unnatural DNA base pair redefines this fundamental feature of life. See Letter p.385 The genetic code is simple: four bases that form two pairs (A–T and G–C) are used in all of life. Expansion of this code to incorporate unnatural nucleotides and base pairing has been a goal of synthetic biology, as it would open up ways to tailor organisms for… Expand
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