NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Scientists have found a protein that can induce the assembly of amino acids without DNA and the intermediary messenger RNA ordained by the textbook account of protein synthesis, according to a study published today in Science.

The researchers, led by Peter Shen, a postdoc at the University of Utah, observed a case in which one protein specifies which amino acids are added to another protein — a never-before-seen function for the molecules.

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