Traditional DNA consists of four base pairs A, C, G and T. But the recently established genetic system Packed eight — twice as many as usually found in self-replicating molecules. The new system is called “Hetemaj”, and what is most interesting — it may be similar to the building blocks of extraterrestrial life, that is, aliens. A new study published recently in the journal Science, describes hatkoti, which means “eight letters” in Japanese.
In addition to the four base pairs, this genetic system has four building blocks, which significantly increases the information density compared to conventional DNA. Authors of the work say that the new system may be robust enough to sustain life — that is, to support the processes necessary for Darwinian reproduction.
Alien DNA from the eight letters
Just clarify that, hatkoti is not an independent self-sustaining body. Rather, it is an alternative model of genetic structure needed to maintain samovosproizvoditsya life. On Earth exclusively in DNA and RNA perform this function, but this does not mean that the other options in space can not exist. In fact, astrobiologists are very interested in this study as it demonstrates another possible mechanism, which might arise, evolve and grow into the complexities of life.
The authors do not claim that chatmaze exists throughout the Universe, but I think that you can take and “to imagine a parallel process,” says Andrew Ellington, a co-author of the new research and synthetic biologist from the University of Texas, Austin. “Carefully analyzing the role of shape, size and structure in DNA hatkoti, in this work we expand our understanding of the types of molecules that could store information about extraterrestrial life in alien worlds”.
In conventional RNA and DNA, the combination of the four base pairs of bases allows to store and transmit genetic information. These four building blocks of DNA, or nucleotides consist of adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine, or simply A, C, G and T. In RNA T is replaced by uracil (U). Base codes for amino acids, the fundamental building blocks of proteins.
Previous studies have allowed us to create synthetic DNA with four alternative letters in total and the system with two additional base pairs (six), but in the latest study, the researchers increased this number to eight.
Four new letters, P, B, Z and S, similar to the structures and functionality on normal DNA, according to a new study, P and B pornopolane function, and Z and S is a pyrimidine-like. In genetic tests the system demonstrated the ability to store and transmit information, essentially simulating molecular behaviour of the usual four-letter DNA. What’s important, chatmaze also satisfies the requirements of schrödinger, which determines the Darwinian system of molecular evolution (the Schrodinger cat which is neither alive nor dead). Schrödinger described the four requirements of evolution: information storage, transfer, structural integrity, and recognizable physical form or structure.
“DNA chatmaze can do everything DNA to sustain life. It is predictable forms a pair, and the rules that dictate its stability. DNA hatkoti can be copied to create RNA, hatkoti, can synthesize proteins directly. RNA chatmaze may have a selective phenotype (physical structure) and in this experiment and the fluorescent green glow.”
Lori B. Hayes, acting Director of the Division for planetary science of NASA, praised the study: “the Discovery of life becomes an increasingly important goal of the NASA missions for planetary science, and this new work will help to develop effective tools and experiments that will expand the range of our search.”
“This study is important because DNA is always considered unique. For example, DNA is the only material with which we can design a sequence with predictable stability,” says Floyd Romesberg, a geneticist from the SCRIPPS Institute, and author of the study with six pairs of synthetic. “And as shown by Steve Benner, his new four letters also satisfy all aspects of that predictable stability. Although there have been hints that other things, in addition to the four natural letters in DNA can have such a property, this work demonstrates for the first time, do it.”
Romesberg also says that an important application of vosmiruchevoj alphabet is to control molecular Association, i.e. the ability to program the configuration of the nucleotides. Possibality the alphabet, he said, is inherently more specific than the four-letter.
“However, it will be useless if the stability vosmiruchevoj of the alphabet are not predictable or programmable,” says Romesberg. “Having shown this, Steve opened a new application that will appear in his lab soon.”
The results can lead not only to astrobiological consequences, but also to leave a mark in the real world — for example, to improve diagnostic equipment, environmental monitoring (like detection of dangerous viruses), lead to alternative information storage proteins with added amino acids and new innovative drugs.
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