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Cover Picture: Biotechnology Journal 8/2017

19:41 EDT 2 Aug 2017 | Wiley Biotechnology Journal

Thaw what is frozen: it is generally accepted that the initial genetic code evolved from an ambiguous to a well‐defined (”frozen“) code with the repertoire of 20 (+2) canonical amino acids. If code is perfectly optimized by evolution, is it then possible to change it experimentally? If so, what are the barriers to overcome? Kubyshkin and Budisa have tried to answer this question by building a model that predicts ”entry points“ for invading the code with noncanonic amino acids. These experiments should lead to a chemical alienation of cells which represent an important step towards the creation of artificial life. The cover is prepared by Vladimir Kubyshkin and Nediljko Budisa authors of the article ”Synthetic alienation of microbial organisms by using genetic code engineering: Why and how?” (https://doi.org/10.1002/biot.201600097). Thaw what is frozen: it is generally accepted that the initial genetic code evolved from an ambiguous to a well‐defined (”frozen“) code with the repertoire of 20 (+2) canonical amino acids. If code is perfectly optimized by evolution, is it then possible to change it experimentally? If so, what are the barriers to overcome? Kubyshkin and Budisa have tried to answer this question by building a model that predicts ”entry points“ for invading the code with noncanonic amino acids. These experiments should lead to a chemical alienation of cells which represent an important step towards the creation of artificial life. The cover is prepared by Vladimir Kubyshkin and Nediljko Budisa authors of the article ”Synthetic alienation of microbial organisms by using genetic code engineering: Why and how?” (https://doi.org/10.1002/biot.201600097).

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