This Will End Poorly (Or With Superpowers): Scientists Create First Organism To Replicate Artificial DNA

May 8, 2014


In news that will undoubtedly be looked back upon as a terrible idea, scientists have successfully created the first living organism using DNA that doesn't resemble the DNA of any living creature on earth. Wait -- so they made an alien?! I'll be in my underground bunker if you need me. Knock three times so I know it's you though, because I won't hesitate to activate the laser turrets.

"Life on Earth in all its diversity is encoded by only two pairs of DNA bases, A-T and C-G," Romesberg explained in an institute news release. "And what we've made is an organism that stably contains those two plus a third, unnatural pair of bases."

After leaping through a series of highly complex technical problems, the study authors finally managed to pull off their goal: the fashioning on a half-synthetic organism that could actually replicate its unnatural self as long as scientists continuously supplied it with the necessary molecular material.

Romesberg said that, in principle, his team's high-concept work has a very practical purpose: to gain a "greater power than ever" to fashion new treatments by harnessing the power of genetics.

Heck yeah, harnessing the power of genetics! I want to be able to CHOOSE what kind of superpowers my kid is born with. I'm kidding, I just want a kid with all its fingers and toes that doesn't cry and goes to bed when it's supposed to. Is that so much to ask? *baby wailing* REALLY GOD? IS IT?!

Thanks to Jenness and my pal D.j., who already first and second in line for laser vision DNA therapy.

  • Darren Snakeman

    Choose any power from this list, I guess.

  • Chaz Gomez

    I'm sorry I wasn't quite paying attention... Did I hear you say that the company backing all this is called Umbrella???

  • spectre99

    phew!! thank god, I thought it could have been something dangerous.. nope, just bacteria.
    could have been something capable of living through microwaves or surviving in a vacuum. man its a good thing our bodies don't naturally culture stuff like that.
    holy God, I am so effin outta here

  • iofo61

    Didn't any of these scientists watch Jurassic Park?? Life will find A WAY.

  • Guest

    And whenever I see these kinds of news articles that quote by Ian Malcolm always pops into my head: "your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn't stop to think if they should".

  • Equinox Graphics

    hello - any chance I could have an image credit for this please?


  • HairyPits

    I like the part where they cropped out your name. Took me 2 seconds with image search to find the origin of the picture. Too bad these guys don't even try to credit good artists.

  • Matty Spinny

    always lock your photos lol

  • They didn't create the organism, they just injected an extra DNA strand into a living bacteria.

    This was a waste of resources. Still waiting for them to replicate the moment when organic compounds came together to create actual life.

  • disqus_k2QxOV9H7Z

    Normal DNA have two different pairs of bases, A-T and C-G, this one have 3. Normal cells don't have the cellular machinery to work with those extra pairs of bases so probably they had to develop modified genes to allow it to work with different bases too.


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