Back in 2014, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in California reported that they’d engineered bacteria whose DNA used a whole new pair of letters, nicknamed X and Y. That same team now reports that they’ve gotten the bacteria to actually use these new letters. The biological possibilities, as a result, now seem endless.“The resulting semi-synthetic organism both encodes and retrieves increased information,” report the authors this week in Nature, “and should serve as a platform for the creation of new life forms and functions,” like new kinds of bacteria with specialized purposes (cleaning the environment, storing gifs…who knows) for example.

Source: Scientists Added Two New Letters to DNA’s Code