May 9, 2014 | Ainara

I love the fact that my DNA shares the same four chemical units as every other life form on the planet. But that's no longer true...

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in California have created two completely new DNA units and incorporated them in E. coli bacteria. This technology could be used to generate new drugs and materials.

For now, it's engineered to be safe. But it makes me wonder: what unknown life forms could we create with these two new DNA units?


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Should scientists alter DNA in this way?

Synthetic DNA

We can now add the DNA bases X and Y to the familiar A, T, C and G.


Image: Flickr/Daniela Hartmann

2 comments on 'A brand-new form of DNA'

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May 13, 2014 at 13:03

It is very impressive but frightening at the same time. Where is the line for what we can and should not? In my opinion the safest choice it is not to mess around with evolution there are so many variable that we can not control that will never be safe in long term.

john pawson

May 9, 2014 at 20:18

Hi, Have you read this? Fascinating that the boffins have designed this. However, what might come from the string! A bit frightening I think. We don't want a giant mutant Godzilla thing galloping around. Not for me what about you?

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