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Just Like the Real Thing

A synthetic base pair is replicated similarly to how natural base pairs are, report the Universität Konstanz's Karin Betz and her colleagues in Nature Chemical Biology. The researchers obtained and analyzed X-ray crystal structures of Taq DNA polymerase I bound to templates with either a natural base pair or the unnatural base pair dNaM-d5SICS at different stages of replication. From this, they found that dNaM-d5SICS is efficiently replicated. "The DNA polymerase apparently induces this unnatural base pair to form a structure that's virtually indistinguishable from that of a natural base pair," Denis Malyshev, a Scripps Research Institute chemist who was part of study, tells InnovationNewsDaily. The researchers add that they are now working to make the synthetic bases be even more efficiently replicated. "If we can get this new base pair to replicate with high efficiency and fidelity in vivo ... we'll have a semi-synthetic organism," Floyd Romesberg, who is also at Scripps, tells InnovationNewsDaily.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.