World’s first artificial enzymes created using synthetic biology

Enzymes made from artificial molecules which do not occur anywhere in nature have been shown to trigger chemical reactions in the lab, challenging existing views about the conditions that are needed to enable life to happen

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(Photo Courtesy: www.io9.com)

A team of researchers have created the world's first enzymes made from artificial genetic material.

The research is published in the journal Nature and promises to offer new insights into the origins of life, as well as providing a potential starting point for an entirely new generation of drugs and diagnostics.

In addition, the authors speculate that the study increases the range of planets that could potentially host life.

The findings build on previous work in which the scientists, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and the University of Cambridge, created synthetic molecules called ‘XNAs'.

These are entirely artificial genetic systems that can store and pass on genetic information in a manner similar to DNA.

 

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