Click DNA

Ali Tavassoli of the University of Southampton and colleagues Jeremy Blaydes and Tom Brown have demonstrated that so-called click chemistry, invented by Barry Sharpless at the Scripps Research Institute in California and normally the preserve of organic synthesis, could also be used to carry out a total synthesis of DNA. The approach produces strands of the genetic material that can be read by human cells despite having a linker not found in nature - a phosphodiester bond. A synthetic approach to building genes in the laboratory would side-step the sophisticated enzymatic approaches used in the molecular biology lab and so might provide a clean and efficient approach when DNA is to be used in molecular circuitry and other applications.