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Synthetic DNA could help scientists modify genes and create new biofuels



Newswise — According to quantum biologists from the University of Surrey, the unlocking of the immense potential of laboratory-designed DNA, commonly referred to as synthetic DNA, is poised to revolutionize various fields with groundbreaking advancements.

Diverging from naturally occurring DNA, synthetic DNA presents scientists with the opportunity to engineer novel genes or augment existing ones, presenting a gateway to revolutionary prospects in medicine and biotechnology. Moreover, synthetic DNA has the potential to sustain Darwinian evolution, laying the foundation for captivating advancements in comprehending genetic systems.

Quantum biologists at the University of Surrey conducted a distinctive study exploring the movement of protons within Hachimoji DNA, a synthetic DNA variant that has yet to be observed in natural organisms.

By employing density functional theory, the researchers from the University of Surrey utilized a methodology to determine the rate of proton transfer and its temperature-dependent effects. Their findings revealed that proton transfer occurs with greater ease in Hachimoji DNA when compared to conventional DNA. Particularly, specific base pairs in Hachimoji DNA facilitate proton movement that is approximately 30% faster than in regular DNA. This observation implies that Hachimoji DNA may exhibit a higher susceptibility to mutations in contrast to normal DNA.

Dr. Louie Slocombe, the principal investigator of the research project at the University of Surrey, remarked:

“The investigation into Hachimoji DNA and its unique characteristics holds great promise for the fields of synthetic biology and genetic research. Our study offers invaluable insights into the dynamics of proton transfer in Hachimoji DNA, thereby illuminating its potential impact on mutation rates.”

“This knowledge holds the potential to steer future advancements in DNA engineering and broaden our understanding of genetic systems, not only on Earth but also in realms beyond our planet.”


Hachimoji DNA, a laboratory-engineered synthetic DNA, surpasses the conventional four-letter genetic code (A, T, C, G) by incorporating four additional building blocks (Z, P, S, B). This expansion broadens the scope of genetic information, unlocking unprecedented possibilities in genetic research, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology. Hachimoji DNA holds great promise as a potential catalyst for engineering organisms with exceptional abilities and for pioneering groundbreaking drug development.

Dr. Marco Sacchi, one of the co-authors of the study conducted at the University of Surrey, expressed:

“The University of Surrey is dedicated to spearheading scientific research and catalyzing transformative breakthroughs. The exploration of Hachimoji DNA showcases the university’s expertise in quantum biology and highlights the potential of this emerging field to unravel the complexities of genetic systems and leverage the capabilities of cutting-edge technologies.”

Source: University of Surrey

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child education

Educating School Districts About the Importance of Clean Transportation



(Family Features) Although most school districts have implemented technology that makes it easy to connect with teachers, you may still wonder how to create dialogue within your district about larger scale issues than your child’s homework assignments.

One example is sustainability, which is an issue many parents feel strongly about. Opening conversations with leaders in the school district can result in many kinds of eco-friendly changes, such as a greater commitment to recycling and teaching kids about the importance of protecting the environment. Transportation is another area where districts can make more sustainable choices, which can also save money over time.

Most of the school buses on the road today run on diesel, which is known to cause respiratory issues like asthma and bronchitis. There are two primary energy alternatives to diesel for clean student transportation: propane and electric. While both can achieve clean transportation, the cost to do so is not equal.

Propane is a fraction of the cost for the initial bus purchase and infrastructure is affordable, scalable and available in communities across the country. What’s more, propane has a range of 400 miles, allowing a sizable vehicle like a bus to reliably travel long distances without stopping to refuel.

If you’d like to talk with your school district about reducing emissions in your community and saving money for your district’s budget, consider these tips:

Compile Information to Share
Your concerns are more likely to attract attention if you collect meaningful details and data to support your request. In addition to statistics and research that explain why your school district should reconsider traditional diesel transportation, you might also gather information on the district’s transportation expenses. You can make your points more relevant by learning about how other districts in your area are making sustainable choices like choosing propane buses.

Write a Letter to District Officials
Once you thoroughly research and organize the details most relevant to your community, you can begin to share it with others. One important step is a letter to the school district that documents your concerns and conveys the importance of clean, safe, healthy transportation for children. The key is to not only spell out the harm being caused, but also to provide a viable solution.

Educate District Officials
Once you’ve gone on record with a letter, you can work to educate leaders in the school district about clean energy buses. Often, a school board meeting is the most efficient way to open this dialogue because you can address the entire board at once. An added benefit is other members of the community who are deeply interested in school operations are likely to attend, and reporters covering the school district may also hear and report on your information, which can spread word to the larger community.


Call a Parent-Teacher Meeting
Working together, parents and teachers have a strong voice within the school system. A meeting among like-minded parents and teachers can be a forum for you to collectively develop a strategy for gathering further support for your cause, educating about the importance of the issue and ultimately driving change for your community.

Visit BetterOurBuses.com to find resources to talk to your school district about important matters like switching to propane school buses.

Propane Education & Research Council

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Young Australians urged to pursue mining careers

Federal Resources Minister urges young Australians to consider mining careers for a sustainable future with energy security.



PERTH, Australia – The Federal Resources Minister of Australia, Madeleine King, has encouraged young Australians to consider employment in the mining sector to help the world decarbonize. Techforce, a leading labor hire company, supports this idea and suggests that the industry is making a positive difference towards a sustainable future.

The mining sector is committed to environmental sustainability and is actively working to reduce its environmental footprint.

Techforce points out that gas remains a crucial component in the processing of critical minerals and the production of batteries for storing renewable energy. Therefore, Australia’s coal and gas resources will continue to play an essential role in ensuring energy security and reliability for many years to come.

Techforce suggests that the mining industry offers a wide range of benefits, including excellent pay and conditions and opportunities for career advancement.

Young people interested in pursuing a career in mining can visit Techforce’s website to learn more about available job opportunities.

See the full press release here: https://www.newswire.com/news/young-people-urged-to-pursue-employment-in-mining-to-help-the-22031981

Source: Techforce



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Toyota’s ‘Empact’ Vision Promotes EV Charging Equity and Sustainability in Underserved Communities

Toyota’s ‘Empact’ initiative aims to promote sustainability and electric vehicle (EV) charging equity in underserved communities, making it easier for people to switch to EVs and reduce their environmental impact.



Toyota is committed to sustainability and has recently announced its vision for the future with its ‘Empact’ initiative. The initiative aims to address sustainability and electric vehicle (EV) charging equity in underserved communities.

Toyota has long been a leader in the automotive industry, and this new initiative is just one example of its commitment to sustainability. The Empact initiative aims to address the lack of EV charging infrastructure in underserved communities, as well as promote sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The lack of EV charging infrastructure in underserved communities is a major issue that needs to be addressed. This lack of infrastructure can make it difficult for people in these communities to switch to EVs, which can be more sustainable and cost-effective in the long run. The Empact initiative aims to change this by providing EV charging infrastructure in these communities, making it easier for people to switch to EVs.

Toyota is also committed to promoting sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company has set a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and the Empact initiative is a step towards achieving this goal. By promoting the use of EVs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Toyota is helping to create a more sustainable future for all.

The Empact initiative is just one example of Toyota’s commitment to sustainability. The company has also invested in renewable energy and has developed a range of hybrid and EV vehicles. Toyota’s commitment to sustainability is not only good for the environment, but it also makes good business sense. Consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable products and companies that are committed to reducing their environmental impact.

Toyota’s ‘Empact’ initiative is a step towards a more sustainable future. The initiative aims to address sustainability and EV charging equity in underserved communities, making it easier for people to switch to EVs and reduce their environmental impact. Toyota’s commitment to sustainability is not only good for the environment, but it also makes good business sense. By investing in sustainable products and practices, Toyota is helping to create a better future for all.


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