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Science & Technology

Scientists create organism with altered DNA

By T.K. Randall
May 15, 2019 · Comment icon 7 comments



The research could lead to 'designer microbes'. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Nogas1974
The live, lab-made microbe, which has a fully synthetic DNA code, is the first of its kind ever created.
The breakthrough was made by researchers at the laboratory of molecular biology at Cambridge University who redesigned the DNA of E Coli - a commonly found strain of bacteria.

The work involved making up to 18,000 edits to the genome, then chemically synthesizing the new genetic code and adding it to the bacterium piece by piece until it had replaced its natural genome.
The resulting creation is very similar to its natural counterpart but is entirely synthetic and survives on a much smaller set of genetic instructions.

The achievement represents a major step towards the creation of artificial organisms capable of performing various beneficial tasks within the human body such as defending against viruses.

"They have taken the field of synthetic genomics to a new level, not only successfully building the largest ever synthetic genome to date, but also making the most coding changes to a genome so far," said synthetic biology researcher Tom Ellis of Imperial College London.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Mystify 3 years ago
What I love most about this is that it reminds me of the interstellar space ships that rely on human connection to power them. Creating synthetic life that respond to the touch seems to already be the future.
Comment icon #2 Posted by joc 3 years ago
Oh wow...I totally misread that thread title...I was thinking of something like from that Woody Allen movie...I think they called it an Orgasmatron...never mind...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
A big step forward zombification ! Still it's quite cool Technology, scientific and biology breakthrough.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 3 years ago
It's great achievement but i can not stop thinking about it escaping and mutating into black plaque lol
Comment icon #5 Posted by dlh 3 years ago
What if they do this with human dna?  If they are not already manipulating it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by DanL 3 years ago
LOL, When I first read that headline I thought it said that scientists had created and orgasm with altered DNA!! I wondered if they found it THAT exciting... Sorry, I know it is off topic but I laughed at myself and decided to share...
Comment icon #7 Posted by lightly 3 years ago
That sounded scary,at first, but the article said it could be designed to perform beneficial functions in a human body such as, fighting viruses.      How about designing it to seek and destroy cancer cells ??  !


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