(CNN)Scientists have long suggested that if life exists beyond Earth, the processes behind it may be entirely different from everything we know.
On Thursday, researchers announced that they were able to create a DNA-like molecular system that can store and transmit information. It's not a life form, but the genetic system represents what an alternative to DNA-based life may resemble.
It could also help scientists keep a different picture in mind when searching for life elsewhere in the universe.
NASA funded the research, and the findings were published in the journal Science.