Sunday, April 29, 2012

Scientists manufacture DNA-like molecule which can transmit genetic material

A new discovery from scientists has advanced the cause of those searching for extraterrestrial life.

On Earth, all life is made up of DNA and RNA, molecules which can store and transmit genetic information.

But now biologists have confirmed that at least six other types of molecule can also support life, dramatically increasing the likelihood of life on other planets.

A team from the University of Cambridge managed to manufacture synthetic XNAs (xeno-nucleic acids) which mimic some of the properties of DNA and RNA.

It is crucial for organisms to be able to grow and reproduce in order for life to be sustainable, so they must have a way to transfer genetic material from one molecule to another. Read More