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San Diego’s Synthorx Adds To Genetic Alphabet, Aims for Bio-Products

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researchers more chances of finding the right drug-target combination.

The technology also could be used to develop new ways of producing nanomaterials, research reagents, and aptamers, which are molecules that bind to a specific target molecule.

Synthorx has licensed the technology from Scripps, and received an undisclosed investment from two San Diego venture firms, Avalon Ventures and Correlation Ventures.

The same techniques used to develop new drug compounds could be used in materials science to create DNA-based scaffolds for assembling polymers that act as semi-conductors or have other special characteristics, said Court Turner, the Avalon partner overseeing the Synthorx deal.

Developing useful nanomaterials could take an approach that would be similar to creating libraries of therapeutic compounds, Turner explained.

“What if you could make a polymer, but with 10 million variations?” Turner asked. “You could sort them, use PCR [polymerase chain reaction technology] to amplify them, and we could literally apply the principles of evolution to develop non-biological materials.” Scientists could then screen the library of compounds to identify the specific molecules with the most optimized characteristics needed.

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  • the_caganer

    Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, much like nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA. DNA -> transcription -> RNA -> translation -> Protein

    • BVBigelow

      Thanks for calling our attention to this. We’ve reworked that explanation!