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New research has brought us closer than ever to synthesizing entirely new forms of life. An international team of researchers has shown that artificial nucleic acids - called "XNAs" - can replicate and evolve, just like DNA and RNA.
The "X" Stands for "Xeno"
Every organism on Earth relies on the same genetic building blocks: the the information carried in DNA. But there is another class of genetic building block called "XNA" — a synthetic polymer that can carry the same information as DNA, but with a different assemblage of molecules.
The "X" in XNA stands for "xeno." Scientists use the xeno prefix to indicate that one of the ingredients typically found in the building blocks that make up RNA and DNA has been replaced by something different from what we find in nature — something "alien," if you will.
The implications of the team's findings are numerous and far-reaching. For one thing, the study sheds significant light on the origins of life itself. In the past, investigations into XNA have been largely driven by the question of whether simpler genetic systems may have existed before the emergence of RNA and DNA; the fact that these XNAs appear to be capable of evolution adds to an ever-growing body of evidence of a genetic system predating DNA and RNA both.
This is just wrong. Scientist trying to play God. Should be working on other more improtant stuff. Such as getting rid of hunger so the people in Africa doesn't starve and finding cures for common dieseses, blindness, deafness, paralyisis and so on and forth but you get the idea.
Originally posted by boncho
I'd like to wonder what type of an effect a XNA based bacteria/organism might have if it were introduced to a DNA based life form. Very interesting.
Oklahoma State University Professor Randy Wymore was the first scientist to conduct research on this disconcerting disease. He says it's the biggest mystery he's ever been involved in.
I really wonder how long until we wipe ourselves out...
These types of artificial life forms are known to use DNA/RNA/siRNA or sRNA plasmid templates of viruses, microorganisms, animal/plant proteins and/or enzymes to build the artificial technology structural form at nano level. Furthermore, they are not limited to only these referenced life forms plasmids, enzymes, and/or proteins. www.rense.com...
The way they obtained their chemical was by forcing RNA building blocks to mutate under observation, leaving them with more than 288 possible outcomes. By applying Darwin's theory on the survival of the fittest on a microscopic level, the researchers then selected only those fragments that proved they could successfully replicate even in the harshest competitive environment.
What makes the findings of Pinheiro and his colleagues so compelling isn't the XNA molecules themselves, it's what they've shown these alien molecules are capable of, namely: replication and evolution.
"Any polymer can store information," Pinheiro tells io9. What makes DNA and RNA unique, he says, "is that the information encoded in them [in the form of genes, for example] can be accessed and copied." Information that can be copied from one genetic polymer to another can be propagated; and genetic information that can be propagated is the basis for heredity — the passage of traits from parent to offspring.
In DNA and RNA, replication is facilitated by molecules called polymerases. Using a crafty genetic engineering technique called compartmentalized self-tagging (or "CST"), Pinheiro's team designed special polymerases that could not only synthesize XNA from a DNA template, but actually copy XNA back into DNA. The result was a genetic system that allowed for the replication and propagation of genetic information
“All these unnatural polymers are well known. What is new is the authors have developed proteins that allow information to be copied between XNA and DNA forms and vice versa. This means that all the cool tricks we can do with DNA, we can now do with XNA by including a couple of extra steps,” said Mukund Thattai, a biologist at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, and an expert in synthetic biology.www.livemint.com...
Oligomers are also involved in heavy and light chain operations in the human body. These normal chains have been altered by these polymers. An oligomer is defined as “A polymer that consists of two, three, or four monomers” as described in the OnLine Free Dictionary which also describes a monomer as: “A molecule that can combine with others to form a polymer.” The common denominator here is the polymer. Notice they are all mers. A mer is the replicator, the repeating unit. It is described as: “(organic chemistry) a combining form denoting the repeating structure unit of any high polymer.” aircrap.org...
Google Video Link
Nanoparticles can cause oxidative stress, which could start a transcription of genes which
should not occur and become problematic. It's been recommended that nanomaterials are
regulated as "Hazardous", however, are not regulated to date. And yet development continues. Nanobioweapons for one. Chemical weapons for another. There are more.lagunanaturalhealth.blogspot.com...