Washington, July 7 : In what may be used to revolutionise gene therapy and other futuristic high-tech advances in the near future, Japanese scientists have created the world's first DNA molecule made almost entirely of artificial parts. Masahiko Inouye of the University of Toyama reckons that this discovery may lead to improvements in gene therapy, futuristic nano-sized computers, and other high-tech advances.
The researcher points out that DNA, popularly illustrated as a double helix, holds the blueprints of life and controls what every living organism becomes and how it functions.
Inouye says that the latest invention by the university team attains significance as scientists have been trying to tap the amazing information storage capabilities of DNA by creating its artificial versions.
Natural DNA uses just four basic building blocks, known as bases, to code proteins used in cell functioning and development.
The artificial DNA created by Masahiko Inouye's team resembles its natural counterpart.
For creating it, the researchers stitched together four entirely new, artificial bases inside the sugar-based framework of a DNA molecule.
According to them, the process led to the creation of unusually stable, double-stranded structures resembling natural DNA.
Just like natural DNA, the new ripoffs were right-handed, and some easily formed triple-stranded structures.
"The unique chemistry of these structures and their high stability offer unprecedented possibilities for developing new biotech materials and applications," Live Science quoted the researcehrs as saying in a statement.
"The artificial DNA might be applied to a future extracellular genetic system with information storage and amplifiable abilities," the researchers write.
A research article on the latest breakthrough is scheduled for publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.