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Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Ser. B, Physical and Biological Sciences

Vol. 88 No. 7 (2012)

  Vol. 88 No. 7 (2012)
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Reviews
The discovery of CP violation in B-meson decays
Fumihiko TAKASAKI
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 88, 283-298 (2012) [abstract] [PDF]
Guillain–Barré syndrome and anti-ganglioside antibodies: a clinician-scientist’s journey
Nobuhiro YUKI
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 88, 299-326 (2012) [abstract] [PDF]
Synthesis of neoproteoglycans using the transglycosylation reaction as a reverse reaction of endo-glycosidases
Masahiko ENDO, Ikuko KAKIZAKI
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 88, 327-344 (2012) [abstract] [PDF]
Unnatural base pair systems toward the expansion of the genetic alphabet in the central dogma
Ichiro HIRAO, Michiko KIMOTO
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 88, 345-367 (2012) [abstract] [PDF]
Original Articles
Stabilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide via zero emissions—An alternative way to a stable global environment. Part 1: Examination of the traditional stabilization concept
Taroh MATSUNO, Koki MARUYAMA, Junichi TSUTSUI
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 88, 368-384 (2012) [abstract] [PDF]
Stabilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide via zero emissions—An alternative way to a stable global environment. Part 2: A practical zero-emissions scenario
Taroh MATSUNO, Koki MARUYAMA, Junichi TSUTSUI
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 88, 385-395 (2012) [abstract] [PDF]
Cover Illustration
Expansion of the genetic alphabet of DNA by artificial, extra “unnatural base pairs”
  Why does DNA only use four different bases? Is it possible to compose an alternative biology system with different base sets or increased numbers of base types? For more than 20 years, researchers have struggled to create extra base pairs (unnatural base pairs) that function as a third base pair in artificial biology systems, including replication, transcription, and/or translation. Synthetic DNA molecules with six different bases, generated by introducing unnatural base pairs, could be used as templates for the enzymatic site-specific incorporation of extra components into DNA, RNA, and protein.
  With pioneering spirit, Dr. Hirao’s group has developed several types of unnatural base pairs for practical use in in vitro biology systems. By addition of two new unnatural bases (Ds and Px) to the four canonical bases (T, C, A, and G), they have recently succeeded in creating a six-base system where an unnatural base pair (Ds−Px) could function in PCR with extremely high efficiency and selectivity. Other unnatural base pairs are utilized in transcription and/or translation. Furthermore, the modifications of these unnatural base pairs endow them with unique fluorescent properties. Dr. Hirao and Dr. Kimoto describe their work, on pages 345 to 367. These unnatural base pair systems have revealed the numerous possibilities enabled by the expansion of the chemical diversity of genetic materials, and are now being applied to diagnostics, therapeutics, and DNA nanotechnology.  This new synthetic biology area is opening the door to novel biotechnology.
Mitsuo Sekine
Professor, Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology

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