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Old 04-23-2012, 01:16 PM
 
30,470 posts, read 20,704,699 times
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Out of all the possible molecules in the world, just two form the basis of life’s grand variety: DNA and RNA. They alone can store and pass on genetic information. Within their repetitive twists, these polymers encode the stuff of every whale, ant, flower, tree and bacterium.

But even though DNA and RNA play these roles exclusively, they’re not the only molecules that can. Vitor Pinheiro from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology has developed six alternative polymers called XNAs that can also store genetic information and evolve through natural selection. None of them are found in nature. They are part of a dawning era of “synthetic genetics”, which expands the chemistry of life in new uncharted directions.

Synthetic XNA molecules can evolve and store genetic information, just like DNA | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine

journal article: Science Magazine: Sign In
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:35 PM
 
3,891 posts, read 3,985,817 times
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Originally Posted by uggabugga View Post
Out of all the possible molecules in the world, just two form the basis of life’s grand variety: DNA and RNA. They alone can store and pass on genetic information. Within their repetitive twists, these polymers encode the stuff of every whale, ant, flower, tree and bacterium.

But even though DNA and RNA play these roles exclusively, they’re not the only molecules that can. Vitor Pinheiro from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology has developed six alternative polymers called XNAs that can also store genetic information and evolve through natural selection. None of them are found in nature. They are part of a dawning era of “synthetic genetics”, which expands the chemistry of life in new uncharted directions.

Synthetic XNA molecules can evolve and store genetic information, just like DNA | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine

journal article: Science Magazine: Sign In

False. It's a concept that the public believes, but in fact life is actually much, much, much more complicated. There's a 3rd alphabet you're missing, hell even most scientists completely neglect or ignore--the alphabet of the carbohydrate.

Consider this: take any 6 nucleotides, peptides, or carbohydrate. 6 nucelotides could form roughly 4000 different combinations and you may be even stunned to realize that 6 peptides could give you 64 million different combinations. That's absolutely nothing compared to the carbohydrate, 6 of which could give you nearly 200,000,000,000 different combinations possible. The amount of information that carbohydrates can encode absolutely dwarfs that held within the DNA/RNA template.

Life is more than just what is in your DNA. Consider this as well. Certain mutations can be introduced that disrupt carbohydrate modifications on proteins. The proteins themselves are correctly synthesized and even still fold correctly with their aberrant glycosylation signatures. However, if you introduce this same aberrant glycosylation event into an organism it is embryologically lethal.

XRNAs are still nucleotide based. Much more info can still be encoded in a simple sugar. Life certainly is sweet.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:32 AM
 
13,138 posts, read 37,322,013 times
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Originally Posted by uggabugga View Post
Out of all the possible molecules in the world, just two form the basis of life’s grand variety: DNA and RNA. They alone can store and pass on genetic information. Within their repetitive twists, these polymers encode the stuff of every whale, ant, flower, tree and bacterium.

But even though DNA and RNA play these roles exclusively, they’re not the only molecules that can. Vitor Pinheiro from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology has developed six alternative polymers called XNAs that can also store genetic information and evolve through natural selection. None of them are found in nature. They are part of a dawning era of “synthetic genetics”, which expands the chemistry of life in new uncharted directions.

Synthetic XNA molecules can evolve and store genetic information, just like DNA | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine

journal article: Science Magazine: Sign In
Interesting read as i've not heard of XNA's before until now
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:35 AM
 
13,138 posts, read 37,322,013 times
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Originally Posted by fibonacci View Post
False. It's a concept that the public believes, but in fact life is actually much, much, much more complicated. There's a 3rd alphabet you're missing, hell even most scientists completely neglect or ignore--the alphabet of the carbohydrate.

Consider this: take any 6 nucleotides, peptides, or carbohydrate. 6 nucelotides could form roughly 4000 different combinations and you may be even stunned to realize that 6 peptides could give you 64 million different combinations. That's absolutely nothing compared to the carbohydrate, 6 of which could give you nearly 200,000,000,000 different combinations possible. The amount of information that carbohydrates can encode absolutely dwarfs that held within the DNA/RNA template.

Life is more than just what is in your DNA. Consider this as well. Certain mutations can be introduced that disrupt carbohydrate modifications on proteins. The proteins themselves are correctly synthesized and even still fold correctly with their aberrant glycosylation signatures. However, if you introduce this same aberrant glycosylation event into an organism it is embryologically lethal.

XRNAs are still nucleotide based. Much more info can still be encoded in a simple sugar. Life certainly is sweet.
O.K. they've sequenced the genome and proteome and so i thought that i've read in the past about the sequencing of glycans (glycome?) and so is what your talking abouty here related to that?
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:35 AM
 
3,891 posts, read 3,985,817 times
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Originally Posted by 6 Foot 3 View Post
O.K. they've sequenced the genome and proteome and so i thought that i've read in the past about the sequencing of glycans (glycome?) and so is what your talking abouty here related to that?

Yes, sort of. Sequencing of the glycome is much, much, much more difficult than sequencing of the human genome. There is no template for the glycome like there is for the genome. Couple that with the fact that carbohydrates are inherently much more difficult to study than their DNA counterparts, the glycome presents an absolutley formidable challenge even with the most advanced techniques and supercomputers today. Just because you know a sequence for a protein and the entire genome does not mean that you can automatically create fully functional proteins and life. Post translational modification events, such as glycosylation, play a critical role in how those proteins behave. Glycosylation events also respond to external stimuli (not template driven), so even if you were to exactly clone cells or a whole person using a genome, you still may not get an exact replica because carbohydrates can not be controlled so easily.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:33 PM
 
13,138 posts, read 37,322,013 times
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Yeah thats interesting about them as the only glycans that i was aware of are the sugar chains on the Red Blood Cells (ABO) Fucose, Galactose, N acetyl-galactosamine & N acetyl-glucosamine .
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