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:10/29/2014)... hair as a consequence of chemotherapy will benefit from ... cooling technology that prevents hair loss. , The research ... global scalp cooling manufacturing company, Paxman Coolers, of Fenay ... the University of Huddersfield. , The research will be ... background in the pharmacology of cancer treatment, which he ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... for the Society of Interventional Radiology,s (SIR) ... the one place where interventional radiologists, diagnostic ... professionals can come together to find the ... presented, discussed and tested. , "Connecting ... medicine, SIR 2015 will feature essential updates ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... industrial products are in the environment – and hundreds ... scientists have yet to determine whether they cause health ... that by estimating which substances people are exposed to ... ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology . , ... to human health of any given substance depend primarily ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New technology on the way to aid cancer suffers who lose their hair after chemotherapy 2SIR 2015: Interventional radiology shapes tomorrow's medicine 2
(Date:10/31/2014)... This is a professional and in-depth ... The report provides basic biocides information, including its ... well as industry overview. This research covers the ... well as Global industry analysis covering macroeconomic environment ... Chinese biocides industry covers information on ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... ENVIRON , an international ... that Dr. Harvey Clewell III has rejoined the ... closely with senior professionals in ENVIRON’s Health Sciences ... at The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences (The ... he is Director, Center for Human Health Assessment. ...
(Date:10/31/2014)... , Oct. 31, 2014  Atlanta-based Intellimedix could ... accompanying the onset of Ebola by suggesting a ... at Georgia Tech,s Center for Computational Systems Biology ... to find alternative uses for existing drugs through ... to aid the bout against Ebola. ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... 30, 2014  Ardelyx, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... cardio-renal, gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases, today announced that ... on Thursday, November 6, 2014. Following the announcement, ... conference call and webcast at 4:30pm ET to ... business update. The live webcast can ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Biocides Market for International & Chinese Regional Development Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 2Biocides Market for International & Chinese Regional Development Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 3Internationally recognized health scientist Dr. Harvey Clewell renews association with ENVIRON 2Internationally recognized health scientist Dr. Harvey Clewell renews association with ENVIRON 3Atlanta-Based Intellimedix May Help Solve Ebola With Computer Algorithms 2Ardelyx to Report Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results on November 6, 2014 2
Cached News: