An organism for the first time has DNA with six base pairs instead of four Photo: Alamy
- Breakthrough in understanding of evolution after scientists modify E.coli bacteria to create organism with unique new DNA structure
By Sarah Knapton
8 May 2014
A living organism with synthetic DNA has been created by scientists in a breakthrough which could change what we know about the evolution of life.
The DNA of all life on Earth is made from four "base" building blocks which bind in pairs and stack up like a twisting ladder to form the well-known double-helix.
Now scientists have managed to add two new artificial "base" blocks to the DNA of an E.coli bacteria.
It is the first time that a living organism has been created which has different DNA to everything else on Earth.
"Life on Earth in all its diversity is encoded by only two pairs of DNA bases, A-T and C-G," said Associate Professor Floyd Romesberg of the Scripps Research Institute.