Dr. Ellington Chimes in on the Unnatural in Nature

While the simplicity of DNA’s structure has astounded scientists for decades, it has chemists wondering if the design is too simple. Drs. Steven Benner, Ichiro Hirao, and Floyd Romesberg among others are currently investigating whether unnatural base pairs can compete with A, C, T, and G, whether base-pairing mechanisms can abide hydrophobic interactions in lieu of the standard hydrophilic, and whether these new DNA designs can improve upon a platform that has survived and functioned for millions of years.

In a new Nature article, Dr. Ellington weighs in on the direction these studies must take next.