Saturday, May 25, 2002

22nd amino acid discovered




The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Ohio State University researchers say they discovered a 22nd common amino acid, another step in the scientific community's effort to unlock secrets of the genetic code.

        It was the first time since 1986 that an amino acid was discovered.

        DNA uses amino acids as the building blocks of protein in all living things, instructing organisms how to perform tasks. The new amino acid, called pyrrolysine, means DNA has decided there is another task to perform.

        “That means that organisms can have the special function they need,” OSU researcher Joseph Krzycki said Friday.

       



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