Synthetic Life: Craig Venter's Bacterial Genome Created From Scratch
#1
A couple of days ago Craig Venter announced that his team of scientists have synthesized a bacterial genome from scratch and have inserted it into the cell of another bacteria to create a new synthetic organism. According to Venter, within 30 generations of this new species all the proteins that make up the cellular structures of the bacteria will be synthesized from the new genomic template.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/m...-life-form

I believe that this technology has profound implications on the future of our species. Here is a video of Venter announcing the achievement.

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#2
This is a very interesting development. But I have a question though. Can we say the genome has been created from scratch? My understanding is that they removed the genes that are not absolutely necessary for its survival from the original bacteria species and then inserted its DNA into another bacterial cell. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycoplasma_laboratorium). So they have only modified an existing genome and the big news here is that they did this with a larger genome, right?
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#3
Video 
Request everyone to watch craig venter's TED talk as well! Happydance


Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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#4
(24-May-2010, 08:39 PM)Lije Wrote: This is a very interesting development. But I have a question though. Can we say the genome has been created from scratch? My understanding is that they removed the genes that are not absolutely necessary for its survival from the original bacteria species and then inserted its DNA into another bacterial cell. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycoplasma_laboratorium). So they have only modified an existing genome and the big news here is that they did this with a larger genome, right?

They actually synthesized the entire genome from scratch. That is, they put together nucleic acids one after the other in the right order to create an entire genome. What you are referring to when you say they removed the genes that were not absolutely necessary is that when synthesizing the genome from scratch they experimented by leaving out certain genes until they figured which ones were expendable for the particular species that they were using as a template, so that they could make the smallest possible genome of that particular species, in order to allow the synthetic genome to be easily inserted into the 'host' cell.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#5
Ajita, thanks for the clarification. Genetic engineering does seem like the next big technological revolution.
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#6
They made the DNA's ACTG combination in a computer and hence the particular sequence didn't have any natural origins aka being artificial.

It can be explained like this, correct?
|God is Dead|
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#7
(04-Jun-2010, 04:53 PM)Varun Wrote: They made the DNA's ACTG combination in a computer and hence the particular sequence didn't have any natural origins aka being artificial.

It can be explained like this, correct?

Some of the sequences were uniquely designed, but they used a species of bacteria as a template and it comprises the main functioning parts of the genome. So, much of the particular sequences that they put together in the computer are already found in nature. It is an enormous task to put together sequences one after another to create a whole genome, and this is a very significant development.

But there is a small part of the genome that is made up of completely artificial sequences. If you watch the video, Venter talks about creating a new code to insert phrases and quotes.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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