World's First Artificial DNA Molecule (Well, Almost)
by Brian Thomas, M.S. *
Biomimicry is the science of designing machines that follow patterns that can be observed within God's creation. One example of this is the helicopter, which Ukrainian-American aviation pioneer Igor Sikorski designed after a lengthy study of dragonflies. Another case is the cutting-edge, self-cleaning boat coatings modeled on shark skin.1
Recently, biomimicry has been taken to another level: molecular. Japanese chemists have discovered how to mimic DNA.2 Artificial DNA could prove useful, as natural DNA is the most compact information storage medium that is currently known. According to the American Chemical Society, "The researchers used high-tech DNA synthesis equipment to stitch together four entirely new, artificial bases inside of the sugar-based framework of a DNA molecule. This resulted in unusually stable, double-stranded structures resembling natural DNA."3
Of course, like any communication system, there must be a language, a medium to store it, a device that reads it, and an intelligence that writes and interprets it. Therefore, even if artificial DNA could be economically produced, a host of other machines would be required to use it effectively as an information storage medium. In the context of creation thinking, this development underscores the supreme intelligence of the Creator, who was able to cause molecular machines to exist that are so excellently designed that they are worth imitating.
If there is truth in the saying "If it were easy, anybody could do it," then God must not be just anybody. If high-tech equipment is required simply to mimic DNA, then how much more "high tech" must the mind and power of God be for inventing it?
- Biomimicking Sharks. Biomimickry Institute website, accessed July 8, 2008.
- Doi, Y. et al. 2008. Artificial DNA Made Exclusively of Nonnatural C-Nucleosides with Four Types of Nonnatural Bases. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 130 (27): 8762-8768.
- American Chemical Society. First DNA Molecule Made Almost Entirely Of Artificial Parts. Science News. Posted on ScienceDaily.com July 7, 2008, accessed July 10, 2008.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.
Article posted July 17, 2008.