'Semi-synthetic' bacteria churn out unnatural proteins

Synthetic biologists seek to create new life with forms and functions not seen in nature. Although scientists are a long way from making a completely artificial life form, they have made semi-synthetic organisms that have ...

Designer enzyme uses unnatural amino acid for catalysis

University of Groningen chemists have created a new enzyme with an unnatural amino acid as its active centre. They made the enzyme by modifying an antibiotic binding protein which normally acts as a bacterial transcription ...

Expanding DNA's alphabet lets cells produce novel proteins

Scientists are expanding the genetic code of life, using man-made DNA to create a semi-synthetic strain of bacteria—and new research shows those altered microbes actually worked to produce proteins unlike those found in ...

Absolute structure determination: Pushing the limits

It was the Softenon disaster that made the pharmaceutical industry fully aware of the importance of knowing the enantiomeric purity and chirality of drugs and their metabolites. This disaster involved the chiral drug Thalidomide ...

Engineered swarmbots rely on peers for survival

Duke University researchers have engineered microbes that can't run away from home; those that do will quickly die without protective proteins produced by their peers.

Team discovers a better way to make unnatural amino acids

Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised a greatly improved technique for making amino acids not found in nature. These "unnatural" amino acids traditionally have been very difficult to synthesize, but ...