Bioscience

According to ASU, there’s a new wrinkle in evolution — man-made proteins

May 27, 2007

By Flinn Foundation

Nature, through the trial and error of evolution, has discovered a vast diversity of life from what can only presumed to have been a primordial pool of building blocks. Inspired by this success, a new Biodesign Institute research team, led by John Chaput, is now trying to mimic the process of Darwinian evolution in the laboratory by evolving new proteins from scratch. Using new tricks of molecular biology, Chaput and co-workers have evolved several new proteins in a fraction of the 3 billion years it took nature. Their most recent results, published in the May 23rd edition of the journal PLoS ONE, have led to some surprisingly new lessons on how to optimize proteins which have never existed in nature before, in a process they call