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  1.  (767.1)
    Interesting article in New Scientist yesterday: Artificial letters added to life's alphabet

    tl;dr: We're halfway to creating functional new DNA bases; we've created an artificial base-pair that replicates "properly" (i.e. like those found in existing DNA), though we haven't figured out how to insert it in the DNA of an existing organism, or precisely what the hell it'll do once it's there.

    Just curious if anyone has any insight into the types of genetic modification / editing / what-have-you that this might enable, or any strong opinions on same.
  2.  (767.2)
    well like the experts say...

    we don't know what the hell it'll do once it's there.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2008
    What interests me is that it should be possible to create sequences of DNA which activate other genes and respond only to the synthetic version of DNA.

    For example, you could put a herbicide resistance gene into a crop that would only activate once the crop was sprayed with a gene promoter that occurs nowhere in nature. That way any wild descendants of the crop wouldn't be exposed to the promoter and wouldn't express the resistance gene.

    Similarly, you could create organisms in the lab that needed the synthetic compounds to survive, that'd greatly reduce the risk of them escaping.