Artificial DNA

C&I Issue 14, 2008

Japanese researchers have stitched together four chemicals resembling the bases found in DNA to create a synthetic version. The creation could find application in information storage in nano-sized computers (JACS 2008, 130, 8762). The artificial DNA employs deoxyribose as the sugar backbone. Artificial bases link the backbone using acetylene bonds such that doublet and triplet hydrogen bonding between bases is preserved, as in natural DNA. As a result, the artificial DNA spontaneously zips up with complementary strands just like ordinary DNA. It can also form triple-stranded structures, potentially increasing the amount of information stored by any putative nano-computer. High stability and resistance to enzymes that attack DNA would make artificial DNA a useful scaffold to build nano-scale structures.

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