Chemical Biology Professor Masahiko Inouye and his team at the University of Toyama in Japan have developed the first DNA molecule using almost nothing but synthetic parts, according to a report on Science Daily. The article explains:
As the genetic blueprint of all life forms, DNA uses the same set of four basic building blocks, known as bases [cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine], to code for a variety of proteins used in cell functioning and development. Until now, scientists have only been able to craft DNA molecules with one or a few artificial parts, including certain bases.
The researchers used high-tech DNA synthesis equipment to stitch together four entirely new, artificial bases inside the sugar-based framework of a DNA molecule. This resulted in unusually stable, double-stranded structures resembling natural DNA.
The team says its work could lead to gene therapy improvements as well as "futuristic nano-sized computers, and other high-tech advances." You can grab Inouye's full paper here, although you'll apparently need to cough up $25 for the privilege.