Volume 94 Issue 21 | p. 8 | Concentrates
Issue Date: May 23, 2016

Mirror-image polymerase copies and transcribes DNA

Activity of nonnatural D-DNA polymerase is first step toward a parallel biological universe
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: genomics, DNA, polymerase, RNA, enantiomers, chirality

Scientists have made a start toward creating a parallel biological universe by synthesizing a d-DNA polymerase, the enantiomer of natural l-DNA polymerase. When supplied with enantiomeric DNA building blocks (l-deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates) and a corresponding l-DNA primer and l-DNA sequence, the synthetic polymerase creates a faithful copy of the nonnatural l-DNA strand. The d-polymerase also recognizes nonnatural RNA building blocks, so it also transcribes the l-DNA sequence into an l-RNA strand in the presence of l-ribonucleoside . . .

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