Developing the Expanded Genetic Code: G.C.A.T. Those four letters have been the world’s genetic vocabulary since the beginning of life on earth, that is, until Dr. Floyd Romesberg and his team created X and Y.

Through perseverance and more than 12 years of research, Dr. Romesberg and his team successfully incorporated X and Y into the genetic code of a single-celled organism.  The organism is able to maintain and replicate the new DNA nucleotides only if X and Y are provided in the nutrients, creating a simple safeguard.

At TEDMED, Dr. Romesberg shares the science behind expanding the genetic alphabet from the four typical DNA nucleotides – A,T,G,C – to six that now include the synthetic nucleotides d5SICSTP and dNaMTP, which we call X and Y. This scientific breakthrough is being advanced by Synthorx to create novel therapeutics that may address many unmet medical needs.

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