New alphabets to the soup of life

From New Scientist
— Two artificial DNA “letters” that are accurately and efficiently
replicated by a natural enzyme have been created by US researchers.
Adding the two artificial building blocks to the four that naturally
comprise DNA could allow wildly different kinds of genetic
engineering, they say. Eventually, the researchers say, they may be
able to add them into the genetic code of living organisms. The
diversity of life on earth evolved using genetic code made from
arrangements of four genetic “bases”, sometimes described as letters.
They are divided into two pairs, which bond together from opposite
strands of a DNA molecule to form the rungs of its characteristic
double-helix shape.

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