HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Expanding the genetic code--TSRI scientists synthesize 21-amino-acid bacterium

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) report in an upcoming article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society their synthesis of a form of the bacterium Escherichia coli with a genetic code that uses 21 basic amino acid building blocks to synthesize proteins--instead of the 20 found in nature.

This is the first time that anyone has created a completely autonomous organism that uses 21 amino acids and has the metabolic machinery to build those amino acids.

"We now have the opportunity to ask whether a 21-amino acid form of life has an evolutionary advantage over life with 20 amino acids," says the report's lead author Peter Schultz, Ph.D., TSRI professor of chemistry and Scripps Family Chair of TSRI's Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology.

"We have effectively removed a billion-year constraint on our ability to manipulate the structure and function of proteins," he says.

In addition to demonstrating that life is possible with additional amino acids, the work is of great relevance to science and medicine because it enables scientists to chemically manipulate the proteins that an organism produces within the organism itself. This gives scientists a powerful tool for research, from determining molecular structures to creating molecular medicines.

Why Expand the Genetic Code?

Life as we know it is composed, at the molecular level, of the same basic building blocks for instance, all life forms on Earth use the same four nucleotides to make DNA. And almost without exception, all known forms of life use the same common 20 amino acids--and only those 20--to make proteins.

"The question is," asks Schultz, "why did life stop with 20 and why these 20?"

While the answer to that question may be elusive, the 20-amino acid barrier is far from absolute. In some rare instances, in fact, certain organisms have evolved the ability to use the unusual amino acids selenocysteine and pyrrolysine--sli
'"/>

Contact: Jason Bardi
jasonb@scripps.edu
858-784-9254
Scripps Research Institute
14-Jan-2003


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Expanding the genetic code: the worlds first truly unnatural organism
2. Expanding lifes alphabet
3. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
4. Rare childhood genetic syndrome identified
5. New research shows plants can shuffle and paste gene pieces to generate genetic diversity
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Chemical genetics identifies SARS inhibitors
8. 22nd amino acid synthesized and added to genetic code of e. coli bacteria
9. The impact of genetic variations on the treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis
10. Adaptive changes in the genome may provide insight into the genetics of complex disease
11. New genetic hypothesis for the cause of autism

Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2014)... 18, 2014   EyeLock Inc. , a ... MorphoTrust USA (Safran), a leading U.S. ... a strategic partnership to offer comprehensive biometric identity ... (MVA), airport screening and financial services markets. ... serves consumers through a nationwide network of 1,100 ...
(Date:11/11/2014)...  Forensicon, Inc., a Chicago -based ... the promotion of Yaniv Schiff from Senior ... Schiff,s new role as Director, he will lead company ... examiners and provide leadership within the company,s digital forensics ... Schiff joined Forensicon in 2006 ...
(Date:11/7/2014)... 7, 2014  In conjunction with the Glendale ... The Community Foundation of the Verdugos has announced the " ... PROJECT," a $250,000 initiative to keep the Verdugo Regional Crime ... first six months of existence, the Lab has processed more ... local law enforcement. "Because our number one priority ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):EyeLock, MorphoTrust Form Strategic Partnership to Pursue Commercial Enterprise Deployments 2EyeLock, MorphoTrust Form Strategic Partnership to Pursue Commercial Enterprise Deployments 3Yaniv Schiff Promoted to Director of Digital Forensics at Forensicon, Inc. 2Community Foundation Of The Verdugos Unveils Campaign To Fund Glendale-Burbank DNA Justice Project 2
(Date:11/24/2014)... Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) November 24, 2014 ... recruiting underrepresented patient populations into clinical trials at ... Maryland. , “Continental was created with the ... trials play a fundamental role in medical advances," ... the Tuskegee syphilis experiment to the immortal cell ...
(Date:11/24/2014)... Nov. 24, 2014  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... to the fostering and monetization of intellectual property, ... Telecommunications Ltd.,  Case No. 3:13-cv-03494-M and  Spherix v. ... both in the United States District Court for ... . On November 21, 2014 ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... November 21, 2014 Two new educational webinars ... comes next for ALS research and how the pharmaceutical industry ... the Ice Bucket Challenge: Where Does the ALS Money Go? ... 2 December 2014, Time: 1:30pm ET, Register to ... speaker Dr. Merit Cudkowicz, Julianne Dorn Professor of Neurology at ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... Colo. (PRWEB) November 21, 2014 ... proprietary cloud based analytics and scientific testing methodologies relating ... commitment for a $750,000 line of credit from an ... extremely pleased to have secured this commitment from one ... Executive Officer of CannLabs. “This capital will help accelerate ...
Breaking Biology Technology:At Continental Clinical Solutions, CEO Saleh Stevens Focuses on Diversity in Clinical Trial Recruitment at Maryland Site 2At Continental Clinical Solutions, CEO Saleh Stevens Focuses on Diversity in Clinical Trial Recruitment at Maryland Site 3Markman Hearing Held as Scheduled in VTech and Uniden Cases 2DrugDev Webinars in December to Explore What Comes Next for ALS Research and How We Can Make Life Easier for Clinical Sites 2CannLabs Secures $750,000 Line Of Credit 2
Cached News: