Synthetic biologist Floyd Romesberg is developing a third, artificial base pair for DNA

Explains a lot.

I’m definitely no expert; but I assume that it would depend on what the organism so modified uses that base pair to code for.

Conventional organisms can, for the most part(and if one can’t there’s probably a symbiot or scavenger that can) chop up any protein they encounter, which covers all the ones(not always the same species to species) that are coded for by existing base pairs.

Unless the new base pair also includes a quite novel protein to code for, the organism attempting to digest it probably wouldn’t even notice. Even if it does include something quite novel, being able to disassemble your enemy and turn their amino acids into you is a core skill, so a protein that resists digestion in general (especially if it does so while remaining useful to the organism producing it) would be pretty impressive on its own.



Judging from the stock image, they are developing something way more profound.

It looks like the atoms that make up the nucleobases have smaller Van der Waals radii than those inside the ribose phosphate backbones. I suspect that the atomic nuclei are made with revolutionary new and stable fundamental particles that do not exist in the Standard Model. Maybe sprotons and sneutrons?


Until Romesberg develops a fourth base pair, there’s no need to worry. Any teenager knows that third base is insufficient for reproduction.


Be careful. This is how you get smurfs.


Okay, fine, won’t kill me … but does it taste good?

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I remember The Boy Who Reversed Himself! Weird book. I think it was another one of those cases where the author was much too taken with his own cleverness.

I would have thought a third, artificial base pair was very old news at this point, but maybe I’m just thinking of synthetic amino acids in general.

Came to post about that book! I remember liking it, though I can’t summarize the plot to save my life… something about a graduate student named Fred and dimension hopping aliens? And a cat?

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Isn’t this how “The Fifth Element” started? The next project is to create Milla Jovovich I would guess.


That will be the kickstarter

What could go wrong?

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If we’ve learned anything from poachers; more endangered = more of a delicacy and/or aphrodisiac.

Obviously, the effects of being able to consume all the members of a species that have ever lived just as an appetizer will be all the rage among superstitious plutocrats of the dystopian near future; and we’ll have genomic sommeliers on hand to advise patrons on the most exquisite lineages.

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Also, how is he holding his hand facing that direction?

Ah yes, the worst Voyager episode.


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