Scientists in San Diego, California have successfully created an organism which contains both natural and artificial DNA. This organism is capable of creating new, synthetic proteins which have never been used by a living organism. In an article published in the journal Nature, the scientists explain that the organism they have created "both encodes and retrieves increased information and should serve as a platform for the creation of new life forms and functions". For the first time in history, scientists have been able to create an organism which can live, reproduce, and create proteins.
This is not, however, the first time that genetic material has been rewritten in a laboratory. In 2014, Floyd Romesberg, of Scripps Research Institute, and his colleagues successfully added a new base pair (nick-named X and Y) into the DNA of E. coli. The microbes were not able to survive and the X and Y were usually lost after a few days.