Artificially Expanded Genetic Information System

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Artificially Expanded Genetic Information System (AEGIS) is a synthetic life experiment from the laboratories of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville, Florida. The system uses twelve different nucleic acids, including the four found in DNA, in its genetic code, and replicates via polymerase chain reaction.[1][2] The system is claimed to be able to achieve Darwinian evolution.[3][4][5]

AEGIS research is the result of a NASA-funded project to try to understand how extraterrestrial life may have developed.[5]


  1. ^ Yang, Z.; Hutter, D.; Sheng, P.; Sismour, A. M.; Benner, S. A. (29 October 2006). "Artificially expanded genetic information system: a new base pair with an alternative hydrogen bonding pattern". Nucleic Acids Research. 34 (21): 6095–6101. doi:10.1093/nar/gkl633. PMC 1635279. PMID 17074747. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  2. ^ Benner, SA; Hutter, D; Sismour, AM (2003). "Synthetic biology with artificially expanded genetic information systems. From personalized medicine to extraterrestrial life". Nucleic Acids Research. Supplement (3): 125–6. PMID 14510412. Retrieved 5 July 2016. Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  3. ^ Benner, Steven A. (December 2010). "Defining Life". Astrobiology. 10 (10): 1021–1030. Bibcode:2010AsBio..10.1021B. doi:10.1089/ast.2010.0524. PMC 3005285. PMID 21162682.
  4. ^ Klotz, Irene (February 27, 2009). "Synthetic life form grows in Florida lab". Science. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b Lloyd, Robin (February 14, 2009). "New Artificial DNA Points to Alien Life". LiveScience. Retrieved 5 July 2016.