Friday, February 28, 2003


This is the sort of thing that would have Greenies frothing at the mouth. How DARE our scientists gaily produce such �unnatural� organisms. Should be a law ....

�I recently heard a presentation on this crazy guy, Peter Schultz, who has engineered bacteria to use para-aminophenylalanine instead of amber codons. The bacteria synthesize para-phenylalanine, have a para-phenylalanine tRNA synthetase, and and insert it with very high fidelity whenever the amber codon is found. The amber codon, which causes the ribosome to stop reading the mRNA when it's found, is apparently quite rare, and because bacterial mRNAs aren't as processed as eukaryotic ones, the bacteria get along quite well. I was thinking it would be really keen to make a series of mutants, each of which incorporated a different D-amino acid instead of the L version. Then, analysis of the structures of the D tRNA synthetases, of the ribosome translating the codon, and of the resulting protein could contribute a little information towards answering why we use all L amino acids.

More here. That a better understanding of all life will come from people doing this sort of thing would not worry a Greenie. They want to take us all back to a primitive past anyway.


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