A group of researchers from Planck University and the Bath Institute have discovered a living being that, when proteins replicate, violates the basic principle of DNA. Previously, it was believed that the code written in it is stable by default and can only be read in one and only way. But things are different with the microorganism Ascoidea asiatica, and it reads this code differently at will.
DNA molecules are huge and complex, but the principle of reading their code is quite simple. It is written as a sequence of four chemical bases A, C, G and T, and a group of three other bases called a codon is used for reading. One codon carries information about one specific amino acid from which proteins are built, the basic unit of any living cell.
Earlier in the scientific world it was believed that it was impossible to read the codon “incorrectly”, so if you analyze the structure of DNA, you can predict which proteins and in what sequence will be built according to this code. But in the case of the microbe Ascoidea asiatica, the CTG codon is read 50% as code for the protein serine, and the rest of the time as leucine. This living creature has "hacked" the mechanism of reading its own DNA molecule, and the observer cannot predict which protein will be the output.
The most interesting thing is that scientists have not yet understood what benefit this gives the microbe. Serine and leucine are very different proteins, just replacing one with another will create a lot of problems for a living organism, and there is a version that such a "life hack" is not needed at all. Moreover, long-term observations have shown that the microbe tries to use the CTG codon as little as possible, as if it itself is afraid of its strange ability. Then this can be considered as an example of an evolutionary deadlock, when a developed super-ability does not help a creature to survive, but does not disappear due to the death of carriers of a harmful mutation.