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A New Unnatural Base-Pair

by on 31st of January, 2008 in Of Interest

picture-3.jpgpicture-2.jpgYou know about adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine. Now get used to SICS and MMO2.

In this JACS article published this month, researchers at the Scripps Institute reported the identification of these two artificial bases. They are efficiently incorporated during in vivo DNA synthesis by the Klenow fragment of E.coli DNA polymerase and pair together with high fidelity.

At the moment the applications for these new bases are are limited mainly to providing new building blocks for the in vivo synthesis of DNA-based nanostructures. However, work is ongoing to incorporate them into living cells and make them code for specific amino acids. Although it is far from clear whether this can be done, if achieved it will lead to some new, very powerful tools for protein engineering.

About the author: Nick Oswald
I started Bitesize Bio on a Macbook on my kitchen table in 2007 while in my 7th year of working as a molecular biologist in biotech. My aim was to share the know-how that I had acquired from the school of hard-knocks in the lab, so that others could learn from my mistakes and small victories. Nowadays my mission is to facilitate the gathering of hardcore know-how from whole spectrum of bioscientists and share it here on Bitesize Bio to create a super-mentor that any bioscientist can turn to for much-needed guidance.

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One thought on “A New Unnatural Base-Pair”

  1. DJ says:

    What exactly can you do with new base pairs?

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