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Wed May 15, 2019, 03:48 PM

Cambridge scientists create world's first living organism with fully redesigned DNA

Source: The Guardian

Cambridge scientists create world’s first living organism with fully redesigned DNA

Researchers create altered synthetic genome, in move with potential medical benefits

Ian Sample Science editor
Wed 15 May 2019 18.00 BST Last modified on Wed 15 May 2019 20.15 BST

Scientists have created the world’s first living organism that has a fully synthetic and radically altered DNA code.

The lab-made microbe, a strain of bacteria that is normally found in soil and the human gut, is similar to its natural cousins but survives on a smaller set of genetic instructions.

The bug’s existence proves life can exist with a restricted genetic code and paves the way for organisms whose biological machinery is commandeered to make drugs and useful materials, or to add new features such as virus resistance.

In a two-year effort, researchers at the laboratory of molecular biology, at Cambridge University, read and redesigned the DNA of the bacterium Escherichia coli (E coli), before creating cells with a synthetic version of the altered genome.

The artificial genome holds 4m base pairs, the units of the genetic code spelled out by the letters G, A, T and C. Printed in full on A4 sheets, it runs to 970 pages, making the genome the largest by far that scientists have ever built.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/may/15/cambridge-scientists-create-worlds-first-living-organism-with-fully-redesigned-dna

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Reply Cambridge scientists create world's first living organism with fully redesigned DNA (Original post)
Eugene May 2019 OP
mbusby May 2019 #1
TreasonousBastard May 2019 #2

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 05:07 PM

2. Imagine what else it could be used for...

Every time I see one of these breakthroughs, I can't help remembering that even the Krell couldn't control the machine they built.

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