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xDNA molecule

xDNA molecule

G110/0895

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Credit

ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Computer artwork of a molecule of expanded deoxyribonucleic acid (xDNA). Normal DNA is composed of two strands twisted into a double helix. Each strand consists of a sugar-phosphate backbone attached to the nucleotide bases guanine, cytosine, thymine and adenine. Professor Eric Kool and colleagues at Stanford University, USA, has an extra benzene ring added to adenine (xA) and thymine (xT). This makes the molecule wider and more heat resistant. It is also fluorescent, making it useful for medical biopsies. Synthetic forms of DNA, such as xDNA, could be used to engineer novel cell types.

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