This was the moment which everyone was desperately waiting for. Scientists have created a synthetic genome that can replicate itself. The team of scientist which is led by Craig Venter has combined two existing techniques to transplant synthetic DNA into a bacteria. The first step which they made was to use a chemical procedure to synthesize a bacterial genome with a combination of nuclear-transferring techniques they transplant the genome into a bacteria, which led the bacteria to replicate itself.
Detail on how a synthetic genome is made
A synthetic genome is made by copying an existing one and then transplanting it into Mycoplasma capricolum. In order to make sure that the Mycoplasma mycoides is artificial, the team of scientist added various nonfunctional watermarks to the genome, making it different from the actual version. The bacteria later worked perfectly, giving the scientist a crowning success.
Craig Venter states, “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,” furthermore he says, “This becomes a very powerful tool for trying to design what we want biology to do. We have a wide range of applications.”
The evidence of the legitimacy of the concept
The research team at J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) has been working on this technology for almost 15 years and now has a number of organisms planned such as algae that intake carbon dioxide and excrete hydrocarbons for biofuel, faster vaccine production, and water cleaning and using light energy to create hydrogen gas from water.
- Craig Venter Institute has the technology to create suicide genes that will stop the synthetics from living outside their controlled environment. Their new discovery is helping us to understand how life works, especially how it’s transmitted through DNA.
“We now have an unprecedented opportunity to learn about life. Having complete control over the information in a genome provides a fantastic opportunity to probe the remaining secrets of how it works,” says Mark Bedau of Reed College, Oregon. “A prosthetic genome hastens the day when life forms can be made entirely from non-living materials. As such, it will revitalize perennial questions about the significance of life – what it is, why it is important and what role humans should have in its future.”