Deoxyribonucleic letter gene, its transfer RNA can find unnatural

Deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA, is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in living organisms. The molecules form a double helix that has two nucleotides bases and their pairs; which are important so that the DNA can make copies of itself. However, what happens when more letters are added and how is it going to affect living organisms? After researching and experimenting, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have created a six letter semi-synthetic bacterium. They have found that expanding the DNA alphabet can enhance and create amino acids and can expand protein therapeutics which are used to treat diseases.Expanding the genetic alphabet to create another pair will increase the amount of codons that can be combined. A team at The Scripps Research Institute found two new nucleotide letters (X and Y) that were able to pair up. In order to combine it into a living organism’s DNA, they experimented on Escherichia coli and found that it could “reliably copy the expanded code and pass it on to the next generation”. DNA needs to be translated into RNA in order for cells to create proteins. Transfer RNA are able to recognize codons so that they can identify which amino acid will be added. With only four bases: A, T, G, and C, only 64 possible triplets are created. It may seem like a lot, however, more than one codon encodes an amino acid. Amino acids are considered the building blocks of protein. With the discovery of the six letter gene, its transfer RNA can find unnatural amino acids by looking for a codon that has X or Y. The addition of the X-Y pair have increased the number of amino acids from 20 to 172.  These new amino acids can be used in protein therapeutics.Proteins are an essential part of living organisms as they make up bones, muscles, cartilage, etc. Protein also helps build and repair tissues, produce enzymes, hormones, and more chemicals. Protein therapeutics is the act of engineering proteins in a lab for pharmaceutical use. Insulin, for example, was developed to treat diabetes. With the expansion of the genetic alphabet, scientists can enhance proteins that have been engineered or have already existed as well as producing proteins that contain unnatural amino acids. The new discoveries can expand protein therapeutics and create more treatments.To sum up, expanding the genetic alphabet will not only expand the amount of codons but amino acids and proteins. The proteins that can be enhanced and created can create treatments for living organisms.