Navigation Links
Scientists 'boot up' a bacterial cell with a synthetic genome
Date:5/20/2010

Scientists have developed the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome. They now hope to use this method to probe the basic machinery of life and to engineer bacteria specially designed to solve environmental or energy problems.

The study will be published online by the journal Science, at the Science Express website, on Thursday, 20 May. Science is published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

The research team, led by Craig Venter of the J. Craig Venter Institute, has already chemically synthesized a bacterial genome, and it has transplanted the genome of one bacterium to another. Now, the scientists have put both methods together, to create what they call a "synthetic cell," although only its genome is synthetic.

"This is the first synthetic cell that's been made, and we call it synthetic because the cell is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of chemicals on a chemical synthesizer, starting with information in a computer," said Venter.

"This becomes a very powerful tool for trying to design what we want biology to do. We have a wide range of applications [in mind]," he said.

For example, the researchers are planning to design algae that can capture carbon dioxide and make new hydrocarbons that could go into refineries. They are also working on ways to speed up vaccine production. Making new chemicals or food ingredients and cleaning up water are other possible benefits, according to Venter.

In the Science study, the researchers synthesized the genome of the bacterium M. mycoides and added DNA sequences that "watermark" the genome to distinguish it from a natural one.

Because current machines can only assemble relatively short strings of DNA letters at a time, the researchers inserted the shorter sequences into yeast, whose DNA-repair enzymes linked the strings together. They then transferred the medium-sized strings into E. coli and back into yeast. After three rounds of assembly, the researchers had produced a genome over a million base pairs long.

The scientists then transplanted the synthetic M. mycoides genome into another type of bacteria, Mycoplasm capricolum. The new genome "booted up" the recipient cells. Although fourteen genes were deleted or disrupted in the transplant bacteria, they still looked like normal M. mycoides bacteria and produced only M. mycoides proteins, the authors report.

"This is an important step we think, both scientifically and philosophically. It's certainly changed my views of the definitions of life and how life works," Venter said.

Acknowledging the ethical discussion about synthetic biology research, Venter explained that his team asked for a bioethical review in the late 1990s and has participated in variety of discussions on the topic.

"I think this is the first incidence in science where the extensive bioethical review took place before the experiments were done. It's part of an ongoing process that we've been driving, trying to make sure that the science proceeds in an ethical fashion, that we're being thoughtful about what we do and looking forward to the implications to the future," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Natasha Pinol
npinol@aaas.org
202-326-7088
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Scientists ID bacterial genes that improve plant growth
2. Nano parfait a treat for scientists
3. Berkeley Lab scientists create molecular paper
4. Brown University scientists discover new principle in material science
5. NIST scientists address wrinkles in transparent film development
6. Scientists discover worlds smallest superconductor
7. Carnegie Mellon scientists create rainbow of fluorescent probes
8. MIT scientists transform polyethylene into a heat-conducting material
9. Scientists discover how ocean bacterium turns carbon into fuel
10. Scientists glimpse nanobubbles on super nonstick surfaces
11. Princeton scientists find an equation for materials innovation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists 'boot up' a bacterial cell with a synthetic genome
(Date:12/5/2016)... , December 5, 2016 The ... with almost $108 billion of revenue and some $890 ... were spent on global biopharmaceuticals, and this figure is ... Stock-Callers.com has lined up these four equities for assessment: ... Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD ), Acorda Therapeutics ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. ... , Dec. 4, 2016 SystemOne, a ... diagnostics software platforms for the developing world, and ... Care.™" a reality with its portable and ultrasensitive ... into a development and license agreement to integrate ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... the submission of a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the ... to Avastin ® (bevacizumab). The companies believe this submission ... "The submission of ABP 215 to the ... our oncology portfolio," said Sean E. Harper , M.D., ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... of DNA microarray comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) for HER2 genomic subtyping ... Using molecular test results from tumors with previously documented positive, negative, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/29/2016)... Nearly one billion matches per second with DERMALOG,s high-speed AFIS    ... ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The ... Identification Systems) ... Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint Identification System is part of ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... According to the new market research report "Biometric System Market by Authentication ... (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), Application, and Region - Global ... from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 32.73 Billion by ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/19/2016)... -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and ... and monitoring, announced today that it has offered a ... independent technology judge determine who has the largest and ... calling platform, and the best customer service. ... what we do – which clearly is not the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):