4 New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


4 New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet

The DNA of life on Earth naturally stores its information in just four key chemicals—guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine, commonly referred to as G, C, A and T, respectively.

Now scientists have doubled this number of life’s building blocks, creating for the first time a synthetic, eight-letter genetic language that seems to store and transcribe information just like natural DNA.

In a study published on 22 February in Science, a consortium of researchers led by Steven Benner, founder of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Alachua, Florida, suggests that an expanded genetic alphabet could, in theory, also support life.

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