San Diego's Synthorx Adds To Genetic Alphabet, Aims For Bio-Products

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A group of scientists in San Diego who found a way to insert synthesized nucleotides into DNA—and who succeeded in coaxing the synthetic DNA to replicate in bacteria—have founded a new company to use the technology to make improved drugs and bio-products. Their breakthrough in synthetic biology, described in research published today in the journal Nature, is expected to multiply the genetic permutations that enable living cells to produce proteins. Actual products based on the early-stage technology are no sure thing, of course, but San Diego-based Synthorx, says eventually it could provide important new tools for developing new, large-molecule drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and nanomaterials.

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