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Scientists Create New Self-Replicating Genetic Code

Scientists have added letters, or nucleotides, to the genetic code causing both interest and fear, The New York Times reports. The research is presented in the journal Nature where scientists “chemically created two new nucleotides, which they called X and Y… inserted an X-Y pair into the common bacterium E. coli…which were able to reproduce normally, though a bit more slowly than usual, replicating the X and Y along with the natural nucleotides.” The findings have important implications and “might eventually lead to organisms that can make medicines or industrial products that cells with only the natural genetic code cannot.” Additionally, “the work also gives some support to the concept that life can exist elsewhere in the universe using genetics different from those on Earth”

Read it in The New York Times.

Read the study in Nature.