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← Triple Helix: Designing a New Molecule of Life

Triple Helix: Designing a New Molecule of Life - Comments

splink's Avatar Comment 1 by splink


Mon, 24 Nov 2008 17:03:00 UTC | #276272

Sciros's Avatar Comment 2 by Sciros

In related news, some dude drew a quadruple helix in Photoshop, prompting even more speculation about whether a seven-legged troggmoglophycus could exist in fantasy RPGs.

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 17:07:00 UTC | #276275

splink's Avatar Comment 3 by splink

I may mark all this as offensive because I don't understand it and it makes my brain angry.

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 17:08:00 UTC | #276277

Fuller's Avatar Comment 4 by Fuller

I have a tattoo of a double helix on my arm. I won't need to update it any time soon, I think.

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 17:56:00 UTC | #276283

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 5 by NewEnglandBob

This will increase the possibilities of diverse life from being mere infinity to the whopping possibility of infinity!

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 18:38:00 UTC | #276306

Olucatei's Avatar Comment 6 by Olucatei

Soon all twelve strands will be in place.

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 19:21:00 UTC | #276333

Evilcor's Avatar Comment 7 by Evilcor

Hey, this is totally exciting! This is amazing! This is zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . .

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 21:06:00 UTC | #276377

GBart's Avatar Comment 8 by GBart

How much more efficient than 1's and 0's would a quadruple-helix (perhaps with another set of base pairs as well) be in storing data? The quantum hard drive seems like a pipe dream to me, maybe this will suffice.

Mon, 24 Nov 2008 21:41:00 UTC | #276384

bluecastle's Avatar Comment 9 by bluecastle

For all the magnificent diversity of life on this planet, ranging from tiny bacteria to majestic blue whales, from sunshine-harvesting plants to mineral-digesting endoliths miles underground, only one kind of “life as we know it” exists.

Are we sure about that statement? Have we ever been looking for something different from DNA or RNA in microscopic lifeforms? It seems to be very unlikely to have some other replicating molecule on this earth, but it is not impossible (as the quoted statement assumes)

Tue, 25 Nov 2008 00:15:00 UTC | #276405

gazzaofbath's Avatar Comment 10 by gazzaofbath

I'm a physicist and engineer. But during my working life its been clear that the 'sciences of the future' has been the biological sciences. I don't think we've yet got close to the revolutionary changes that will come in due course (say, next 100 years).

It is a bit science fiction, and not being an expert I couldn't predict timescales, but imagine when we understand DNA properly, especially human DNA, how to express the genes when and how we like, how to manipulate molecules like PNA, etc.

I don't doubt that we will have complete control over our bodies, and disease, and indeed be able to modify it for the better, over a 100 year timescale. An article like this just shows the foothills.....

Tue, 25 Nov 2008 00:45:00 UTC | #276413

GandalfGrey's Avatar Comment 11 by GandalfGrey

How about no helix at all?
Let's build an Alien lifeform from tiny coloured marbles...

Tue, 25 Nov 2008 01:17:00 UTC | #276431

Ishruul's Avatar Comment 12 by Ishruul

IT'S theory...

Tue, 25 Nov 2008 06:08:00 UTC | #276553

8teist's Avatar Comment 13 by 8teist

a seven-legged troggmoglophycus

Careful buddy ,thats my missus you be talking about.

Tue, 25 Nov 2008 14:36:00 UTC | #276754

Raiko's Avatar Comment 14 by Raiko

Uh, Newsflash? It's not like triple and quadruple helices don't ever exist in nature?

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 00:29:00 UTC | #276942

gazzaofbath's Avatar Comment 15 by gazzaofbath

Uh, Newsflash? It's not like triple and quadruple helices don't ever exist in nature?

Do they? I'm not a biologist. Tell me more, or give a suitable link. I'm interested.

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 03:36:00 UTC | #277044

Azven's Avatar Comment 16 by Azven

Surely three strands will make mutation less likely.

It looks to me like the bases on the third strand have a one-to-one mapping with the pairs on the traditional DNA, which means that no new information is being coded here.

The most interesting part of the article is at the end when proposing PNA as a precursor to RNA.

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 05:07:00 UTC | #277139

DalaiDrivel's Avatar Comment 17 by DalaiDrivel


"Hey, this is totally exciting! This is amazing! This is zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . . "


I think it's pretty neat. A new kind of life. Let that sink in for a moment.

Plus, it wasn't God this time. Shocker. Alright- now you can go to sleep...

Wed, 26 Nov 2008 14:08:00 UTC | #277677

Raiko's Avatar Comment 18 by Raiko


Do they? I'm not a biologist. Tell me more, or give a suitable link. I'm interested.

Triple helices involve RNA strands and quadruple helices can be found when chromosomes cross over (hey, I didn't say these things were always stable!). A molecular genetic books would probably be the most helpful. At the moment, I can't think of any links, only of "Molecular Biology of the Gene" of which one of the authors is James Watson (yes, that Watson).

Thu, 27 Nov 2008 00:58:00 UTC | #278000