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NASA finds new form of DNA while in search for Alien life!

NASA DNA Modification Geek Impulse Science

Scientist funded by NASA has discovered a new kind of DNA structure. It can hold as well as transmit large sums of data and information. NASA believes this will allow them to find alien life. With this discovery, it brings into question the potential for alternative forms of DNA based lifeforms. They hypothesize that life on other planets may very well have molecular structures similar to what they have created in their lab by researchers.


Life detection is an increasingly important goal of NASA’s planetary science missions, and this new work will help us to develop effective instruments and experiments that will expand the scope of what we look for.

Lori Glaze, acting director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division

Incorporating a broader understanding of what is possible in our instrument design and mission concepts will result in a more inclusive and, therefore, more effective search for life beyond Earth

Mary Voytek, senior scientist for Astrobiology at NASA Headquarters

According to the Independent, The new research saw scientists create a new kind of molecule system that functions like DNA, but has an important difference. Instead of the usual four ingredients, it contains eight. It has all of the four that are found in life on Earth: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. But it has four extra, synthetic ones, that mimic the structures of the ingredients found in regular DNA. The researchers call the new creation “hachimoji” DNA – hachi means eight in Japanese, and moji means letter. It functions the same as our DNA, meeting the same requirements that allow it to store and transmit information.


A great question was posted on Reddit user Willum8, Would a DNA-like molecule with 8 nucleotides be able to store more information in less space? Like a base 4 number system compared to a base 2 system?
The response was by user dcheesi, “In theory, yes. This is analogous to how communications protocols pack higher data transmission rates into a given signaling rate by using more distinct symbols (e.g. different voltage levels) to represent additional numeric values.”

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