Mirror-image cells could transform science--or kill us all

January 09, 2011

Theoretically, a cell could be based on "wrong-handed" molecules. Its biochemistry would work just like ours--DNA to RNA to proteins--but it would be completely incompatible with earthly life, its chiral twin. And now, thanks to recent advances in genomics, cell membrane science, and synthetic biology, an ambitious researcher could go beyond theory and build it from the ground up. The tools are here (well, almost here) to make mirror life from scratch.

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