Craig Venter has built a synthetic chromosome

mindspread
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Craig Venter has built a synthetic chromosome

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22540692-23109,00.html

 

Pretty cool stuff.

 

Quote:
CELEBRITY US scientist Craig Venter has built a synthetic chromosome using chemicals made in a laboratory, the Guardian newspaper reported today.

Dr Venter is to announce the discovery within weeks and could possibly unveil it as early as Monday, the newspaper added.

The breakthrough, which Dr Venter hopes could help develop new energy sources to combat global warming, would be "a very important philosophical step in the history of our species," he told the paper.

"We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before," he added.

The chromosome which he and his team has created is known as Mycoplasma laboratorium and, in the final step of the process, will be transplanted into a living cell where it should "take control", effectively becoming a new life form.

Pat Mooney, director of the Canadian bioethics organisation ETC Group, told the paper that Venter was creating "a chassis on which you could build almost anything".

"It could be a contribution to humanity such as new drugs or a huge threat to humanity such as bio-weapons.


Teresa Nichols
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DAY-um!

If this is true, I will be very excited!


Archeopteryx
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  I agree that this is

 

I agree that this is very cool if true, but it could also be very bad if someone decided to do something terrible with it.

I'm waiting to hear more. =) 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


theotherguy
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an entire

an entire chromosome?

 using what enzymes?

What DNA as a template?

 

I'd like more information before I believe this. 


lpetrich
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It's a bacterial chromosome

It's a bacterial chromosome -- a long strand of DNA using sequences from certain bacteria.

Craig Venter is trying to construct an organism that has the smallest possible genome, while being able to grow and reproduce itself without being dependent on another cell's molecular machinery. That condition means that that cell will not be a virus; though viruses can be very small, they depend on their host cells to grow and reproduce.