In a message dated 7/25/01 1:40:20 AM, email@example.com writes:
>Actually, the improvement would be big - a strong guarantee against genes
>spreading would be a boon to convincing people that this is safe on
>rational grounds. The problem is of course that (as the subject line
>suggests) a lot of people would instead consider such modified organisms
>even more unnatural and angsty.
>Personally I would settle for changing the code for (say) phenylalanine
>(TTT and TTC) for the stop codon (TAA and TAG), which would be a very
>efficient way of making the code unreadable for standard ribosomes. The rub
>is of course that to do this we need to modify the tRNA and ribosomes as
>well as recompile the genome, which is rather tricky.
Piddling with the code is low-hazard; it's already been done in the wild.
It's adding novel amino acids that's a concern, mostly ones that don't exist
in the wild and have been designed by organic chemistry.
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