NASA’s new DNA for alien search
Published: 04:02 PM, 23 February 2019 Updated: 04:27 PM, 23 February 2019
Nasa-funded scientists have developed a new kind of DNA-like structure that can store and transmit information – and could lead to new ways of finding alien life.
The breakthrough discovery suggests there might be alternative, unimagined forms of DNA-based life as we know it on Earth. Life on other worlds might be built using different molecular systems of the kind the researchers developed in the lab, Nasa experts have suggested.
The new molecular system will allow scientists who are looking for life elsewhere in the universe to re-think what they are actually looking for, researchers said.
DNA is a complex molecule that allows the genetic information that makes us who we are to be stored and then transmitted. That information is passed from parent to offspring in every living thing on Earth, and allows life to grow and thrive.
It is made up of four different ingredients, which scientists refer to as nucleotide and are common across all life on our planet. But they might vary elsewhere in the universe, the new research suggests.
Imagining forms of life that might use different structures – and developing ways of detecting them – is a central part of Nasa's work. The new project that has not only envisioned but created such a molecule.
“Life detection is an increasingly important goal of NASA’s planetary science missions, and this new work will help us to develop effective instruments and experiments that will expand the scope of what we look for,” said Lori Glaze, acting director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division.
The new research saw scientists create a new kind of molecule system that functions like DNA, but has an important difference. Instead of the usual four ingredients, it contains eight.
It has all of the four that are found in life on Earth: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. But it has four extra, synthetic ones, that mimic the structures of the ingredients found in regular DNA.
The researchers call the new creation "hachimoji” DNA – hachi means eight in Japanese, and moji means letter. It functions the same as our DNA, meeting the same requirements that allow it to store and transmit information.
That has meant that the kinds of molecules that might be storing information in life on alien worlds could be similarly different. It suggests that life could structure itself in different ways than it does on Earth, at the most fundamental level – meaning that environments Earth-bound life could never live in might be teeming with unimagined life forms.
“Incorporating a broader understanding of what is possible in our instrument design and mission concepts will result in a more inclusive and, therefore, more effective search for life beyond Earth,” said Mary Voytek, senior scientist for Astrobiology at NASA Headquarters.
- 5828 multimedia classrooms installed in Rajshahi
- Sergeant Kibria’s father files writ seeking compensation
- Minni’s bail hearing Jul 30
- Three father of a newborn baby!
- Shokh to play Minni’s role in Eid
- Habits that extremely harmful for liver
- Rain likely to increase, temperature may fall
- Advance train tickets to be sold at 5 spots
- Fire breaks out at CMCH Psychiatry department
- 25 schoolgirls fall sick from laughing too much
- ‘Lion King’ roars as surpassing ‘Avengers’ record
- Ronaldo will not face rape charges
- Critical security flaw found in VLC Player
- Two robbers killed in Sundarbans gunfight
- Large-scale government data hacks in Russia, Bulgaria
- Mehazabien with new story
- Shinzo Abe wins Japan’s upper house poll
- National Public Service Day-2019 today
- Renu lynched in Badda: 2 more held
- Drug peddler killed in Meherpur gunfight
- Suspended ACC director Basir held
- Bangladesh to play warm-up match today
- ‘Child lifters’ rumor: innocence loses life
- Chandrayaan-2: India launches second Moon mission
- WHO to work with DSCC in combating dengue
- Bangladesh U-19 beat England U-19
- No cattle hat blocking roads: DMP Commissioner
- Books in hand, fear in mind
- BHBCUC suspends Priya Saha
- Farmers passing busy days in cattle fattening
- All News »
- Priya’s allegation is not correct: US Ambassador
- Child’s head in bag, youth lynched in Netrokona
- ‘Lady Killer’ Tisha to fight against formalin in food
- Priya falsify to Trump about Bangladesh
- Woman lynched over child-lifting rumour: 500 sued
- HSC exam results tomorrow
- Rifat murder: Minni at Police Line for questioning
- Renu lynched in Badda, 3 held
- Police want 10-day remand of Minni
- Rifat killing mastermind Minni; says police
- 8 boards attain 71.85 pc pass rate
- Stocks maintain positive trend
- None took ‘liability of denying legal support’ to Minni
- How to get HSC result
- Minni sent to jail
- HSC pass rate increases 7.9 pc
- Edu Minister`s husband Toufiq Nawaz severely ill
- Put Myanmar for Rohingya return; FM urges US
- Court dismisses Minni’s two petitions
- Bangladesh to play warm-up match today
- PM to inaugurate ‘Benapole Express’ Wednesday
- Country’s 7th mobile assembling plant to be launched with FDI
- Minni on 5-day remand
- Ershad’s body in Rangpur
- Ershad’s namaz-e-janaza held in Rangpur
- Man accused in 14 cases killed in gunfight
- Google shuts down AdSense on Android, iOS for web
- Another hit of Gully Boy!
- DIG Mizan shown arrested in bribery case
- Humanity for animal !