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Triple Helix: Designing a New Molecule of Life

hessian (467078) writes | more than 5 years ago

Biotech 0

Anti-Globalism writes "A molecule that some researchers study in pursuit of this vision is peptide nucleic acid (PNA), which mimics the information-storing features of DNA and RNA but is built on a proteinlike backbone that is simpler and sturdier than their sugar-phosphate backbones. My group developed PNA more than 15 years ago in the course of a project with a rather more immediately useful goal than the creation of unprecedented life-forms. We sought to design drugs that would work by acting on the DNA composing specific genes, to either block or enhance the gene's expression (the production of the protein it encodes). Such drugs would be conceptually similar to "antisense" compounds, such as short DNA or RNA strands that bind to a specific RNA sequence to interfere with the production of disease-related proteins [see "Hitting the Genetic Off Switch," by Gary Stix; Scientific American, October 2004]."
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