More than mere genetic engineering

Scientists have been doing genetic engineering for some time. Heck, if you count breeding for traits, we’ve been doing it for centuries. But actual modification of DNA, changing the GCAT letters is pretty recent. But now scientists have gone past that. Scientists have added new nitrogen bases. They’ve added X and Y.

First, they had to make the new bases (d5SICS (X) and dNaM (Y)). They used RNA to make them in test tubes. Next, they had to get the X and Y into the cell. Using the favorite bacteria of mad scientists everywhere, Escherichia coli, they added a gene that would let the new bases through the cell membrane. Now that the e. coli had X and Y, they added a loop of DNA that contained a base pair of these bases, just one rung of the DNA double helix. For a week the bacteria multiplied, and each new cell had the DNA loop with the XY pair.

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