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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Oct > Oct 26

Life - "But Not As We Know It"

From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 15:23:19 +0100
Archived: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 17:07:22 -0400
Subject: Life - "But Not As We Know It"


Hello List

Just seen a New Scientist article

http://tinyurl.com/bo2e3pb

"Move Over DNA: Six New Molecules Can Carry Genes"!

which describes how the MRC Lab, Cambridge UK has worked on how
"six XNAs (xeno-nucleic acids). DNA and RNA are made of a sugar,
a phosphate and a base. The XNAs had different sugars, and in
some of them the sugars are replaced with completely different
molecules."

They've succeeded in finding enzymes that will work so "they
were able to store information in each of the XNAs, copy it to
DNA, and copy it back into a new XNA. In effect, the first XNA
passed its information on to the new one - albeit in a
roundabout way."

They now say "The cycle we have is a bit like a retrovirus,
which cycles between RNA and DNA, ...The immediate question is
whether these XNAs can be introduced into cells," says Farren
Isaacs of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Once the
XNAs were installed, they could replicate and evolve on their
own. "That would be remarkable."

And further: "This suggests XNAs might form the basis of life on
other planets, where different environments led to different
chemistry. "I would be surprised if we find truly
extraterrestrial life that was based on DNA and RNA," Holliger
says. "There might have been an XNA-world on a different
planet."

---

Cheers

Ray D




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