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sanman
2010-May-20, 07:18 PM
Bacteria comprised of fully synthetic DNA have been created:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10132762.stm

The article comments that this type of technology is too dangerous to be used here on Earth.

But could it be used somewhere else, perhaps on Mars?

Perhaps if something could be dropped into Hellas Basin, where conditions might be closer to the triple-point of water. Then it could spread out from there, especially with all the UV radiation providing mutagenic stimulus.

To me, what would make the most difference, is in having a bacteria with a dark photo-absorbent pigment which could spread across the surface of Mars, radically boosting the overall photo-absorption of the planet's surface. Even if the bacteria couldn't do photosynthesis directly, as long as it could harvest the energy of UV-created free radicals or oxides, then it could flourish.

The ability of bacteria to multiply exponentially could transform Mars in record time.

clop
2010-May-20, 07:18 PM
Sounds interesting.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10132762.stm

"Scientists in the US have succeeded in developing the first synthetic living cell.
The researchers constructed a bacterium's "genetic software" and transplanted it into a host cell.
The resulting microbe then looked and behaved like the species "dictated" by the synthetic DNA.
The advance, published in Science, has been hailed as a scientific landmark, but critics say there are dangers posed by synthetic organisms."

clop

BigDon
2010-May-20, 07:28 PM
and when it stops being useful?

Swift
2010-May-20, 07:46 PM
I've merged the two threads started on this topic

And now with my mod hat off... very cool work, but I knew it was coming. There has been work for years on modifying bacteria genes and even creating completely synthetic genes, so it was only a matter of time before someone did a complete genome.

transreality
2010-May-20, 11:14 PM
It's Alive! (http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2010/05/its-alive.html#more)

The take here is that such a synthetic organism is a fragile specialist that would be designed for a particular environment and unable to compete with natural generalists.

adapa
2010-May-21, 12:36 AM
Craig Venter's team of scientists were very thorough about making sure that it could not survive outside of a controlled environment. What I find really impressive is that they coded their names and an email address in its DNA. Here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form) is a more detailed interview than the BBC's version.

However, this is not surprising to anyone who has followed his work. In this lecture (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/craig_venter_is_on_the_verge_of_creating_synthetic _life.html) back in 2008, he discribed an experiment where they constructed the DNA for a bacteriophage which they subsequently inserted into bacteria. The bacteria's machinery read the code and started to produce the virus which then killed the bacteria.

novaderrik
2010-May-21, 03:22 AM
i sense a blockbuster movie coming on..

DrRocket
2010-May-21, 03:40 AM
Bacteria comprised of fully synthetic DNA have been created:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10132762.stm

The article comments that this type of technology is too dangerous to be used here on Earth.

But could it be used somewhere else, perhaps on Mars?

Perhaps if something could be dropped into Hellas Basin, where conditions might be closer to the triple-point of water. Then it could spread out from there, especially with all the UV radiation providing mutagenic stimulus.

To me, what would make the most difference, is in having a bacteria with a dark photo-absorbent pigment which could spread across the surface of Mars, radically boosting the overall photo-absorption of the planet's surface. Even if the bacteria couldn't do photosynthesis directly, as long as it could harvest the energy of UV-created free radicals or oxides, then it could flourish.

The ability of bacteria to multiply exponentially could transform Mars in record time.

From the article:

"He and his colleagues had previously made a synthetic bacterial genome, and transplanted the genome of one bacterium into another.

Now, the scientists have put both methods together, to create what they call a "synthetic cell", although only its genome is truly synthetic.

Dr Venter likened the advance to making new software for the cell.

The researchers copied an existing bacterial genome. They sequenced its genetic code and then used "synthesis machines" to chemically construct a copy. "

This appears to be very good work. It also appears that the title of the article is a bit of hype. The cell created is not totally synthetic. The DNA used is synthetic, but a copy of a naturally-occurring DNA. They had previously transplanted DNA from one bacteria to another. So what is new here is that they took a genome, ran it through their "Xerox machine" and transplanted the copy. That is really good work.

It is not what one would have anticipated from the title of the popularized article. I personally am getting really tired of distortions in the popular press of what is in fact stupendous science. No wonder the country is largely scientifically illiterate.

Ronald Brak
2010-May-21, 05:23 AM
With the turnover of lipids etc. in a cell it will be entirely synthetic in about 30 generations, so maybe a day.

parallaxicality
2010-May-21, 06:15 PM
I'm not sure I'd call this "hot rod" approach "synthetic life"; it's really just a more extreme version of techniques that have been practised for years. I'm more interested in these attempts to recreate life's prebiotic conditions to see if a functioning cell can be created in a lab. I'm also not a fan of Craig Venter, after he patented my genome.

BigDon
2010-May-21, 08:11 PM
I'm not sure I'd call this "hot rod" approach "synthetic life"; it's really just a more extreme version of techniques that have been practised for years. I'm more interested in these attempts to recreate life's prebiotic conditions to see if a functioning cell can be created in a lab. I'm also not a fan of Craig Venter, after he patented my genome.

Wow, that's something that I never knew about you Para. (That you were a maker of genomes.)

FarmMarsNow
2010-May-21, 09:25 PM
What I find really impressive is that they coded their names and an email address in its DNA.
Ok, well I hope no one writes their name in my DNA. Mine is taken.

Ara Pacis
2010-May-22, 05:43 AM
Wow, that's something that I never knew about you Para. (That you were a maker of genomes.)

And perhaps gedwarfs. Actually, we're all makers of half-genomes.

Goodbye Evolution, hello Intelligent (re)Design.

ragasssd
2010-May-22, 10:18 AM
am i understanding this? they took the DNA from one cell and put it into another, then the cell "became" what the DNA dictated and also started reproducing?

Ronald Brak
2010-May-22, 11:48 AM
am i understanding this? they took the DNA from one cell and put it into another, then the cell "became" what the DNA dictated and also started reproducing?

No, they made their own DNA, removed the DNA from a cell and put their artificial DNA in and IT LIVES! This is the first synthetic lifeform (if you don't count viruses as lifeforms, people have been making them for a while now.) It is quite an achievement. It is a big deal. Whether or not the dude who first steps on the moon deserves all the accolade, it's these sorts of things that get in the history books.

parallaxicality
2010-May-22, 12:39 PM
Wow, that's something that I never knew about you Para. (That you were a maker of genomes.)

Well, I have one, and he patented it.

adapa
2010-May-22, 03:31 PM
Ok, well I hope no one writes their name in my DNA. Mine is taken.
Unless they manufacture your DNA from scratch, you have nothing to worry about.:)

As Dr. Venter put it (see the first video in post #6), they made the DNA piece by piece using 4 chemicals and a computer code as its raw materials. They inserted their names and the email address as a watermark in the DNA in order to leave no doubt that it was manufactured. Inserting the DNA into a host was simply a way to "boot up the software". Once the new DNA was booted up, it replaced all of the old cell components and traits with its own.


It is quite an achievement. It is a big deal. Whether or not the dude who first steps on the moon deserves all the accolade, it's these sorts of things that get in the history books.

I agree completely. Dr. Venter has once more proved that he and his team are some of the greatest scientists of this era.

On a side note, Craig Venter and his team are currently working on organisms that will use photosynthesis to turn carbon dioxide and water into octane and other hydrocarbons. If he succeeds at this (which I believe that he will), then he will create another important breakthrough.

Argos
2010-May-22, 03:40 PM
'Artificial life' would be a stretch. What they made is an artificial species [yet unnamed AFAIK].

FarmMarsNow
2010-May-22, 04:40 PM
On a side note, Craig Venter and his team are currently working on organisms that will use photosynthesis to turn carbon dioxide and water into octane and other hydrocarbons. If he succeeds at this (which I believe that he will), then he will create another important breakthrough. I think they've chosen the right product to start with.

eburacum45
2010-May-23, 11:48 AM
To me the most impressive feat is that viable DNA has been recreated from a DNA sequence, then successfully implanted into a cell. That means that the DNA was temporarily nothing more than recorded data. In theory the sequence could have been written down on paper with a pencil.

It seems remarkable that a living being can be recreated after spending some time as data. Given a durable form of data storage, that bacterium could have been recreated after millions of years as nothing more than digital bits (or an inscription on a stone tablet).

Even if the seemingly limitless possibilities of genetic engineering are never realised, digital storage of DNA data means that species can be stored indefinitely as bytes- or even sent over the Internet, given enough bandwidth.

mugaliens
2010-May-24, 08:19 AM
But could it be used somewhere else, perhaps on Mars?

Sure - throw a bunch of them all over that planet, then wait for a few hundred million years to see what takes hold, if anything.

Evolution is an incredibly demaning process! We aren't "lucky." We represent the culmination of billions of years of evolutionary processes here on this planet.

I know that doesn't impress some people, but...

tnjrp
2010-May-24, 08:41 AM
Here's Nature popping the "what now" question to a bunch of scientist etc. (who manage to talk about it without saying the G-word once as far I can see):
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/465422a.pdf

FarmMarsNow
2010-May-24, 10:26 PM
Ok, try to take the following question seriously:
If you could bring an extinct species back using fossils; should you do it or shouldn't you? I mean, like for example a mastodon or a saber-tooth. If you don't bring it back then aren't you in a way giving the nod to its extinction? So then if for example, somebody wants you to bring back the sabertooth; but you have conscientious reasons not to. Couldn't they sue you for contributing to the extinction of a species if you refused to bring it back? Assume they want it to research a cure for cancer or for some other important reason.

Boratssister
2010-May-25, 01:04 AM
mr venter and his team are trying to patent genes. This has loads of ethical and scientific implications .

Swift
2010-May-25, 01:48 AM
Ok, try to take the following question seriously:
If you could bring an extinct species back using fossils; should you do it or shouldn't you?
I think we should, but so one could study a living specimen, not so you could release a breeding population into the wild.


So then if for example, somebody wants you to bring back the sabertooth; but you have conscientious reasons not to. Couldn't they sue you for contributing to the extinction of a species if you refused to bring it back? Assume they want it to research a cure for cancer or for some other important reason.
Who is this "they" that is going to sue someone for not recreating a species that has been extinct for thousands of years? I can see no set of circumstances where someone is sued for such a thing. I can imagine lawsuits to stop the recreation of such a species, though, as I said, I wouldn't support such a suit.

I think biologists and paleontologists would be interested in looking at these species, but I can't imagine a cancer treatment coming from one, I see no such connection.

By the way, this work is an extremely long way from recreating such extinct mammals.

DrRocket
2010-May-25, 02:32 AM
Well, I have one, and he patented it.

Genome patenting has become an open legal issue.



http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/business/30gene.html

adapa
2010-May-25, 03:09 AM
If you don't bring it back then aren't you in a way giving the nod to its extinction?Unless we were the ones who contributed to its original extinction, my answer would be "No". An environment can generally support only a limited number of individuals that fulfill the same role. This means that something has to die off or not reproduce. If an animal or plant cannot survive in its natural environment, then its time for existence has come and gone.

Also, introducing foreign species to an environment creates a grave risk to the environment and the creatures living in it. This would be terribly unfair to the creatures already living there.

For example, the mongoose was introduced to Okinawa to deal with the habu (a highly venomous pit viper). Unfortunately, the mongoose is now threatening much of the local wildlife (http://japanupdate.com/?id=431).

It is for reasons like this why there are very strict rules about transporting plants or animals across international borders.

Strange
2010-May-25, 10:26 AM
am i understanding this? they took the DNA from one cell and put it into another, then the cell "became" what the DNA dictated and also started reproducing?

That was the first step. and was done some time ago. It is also the basis of cloning (where both cells are usually from the same species).

Strange
2010-May-25, 10:27 AM
The article comments that this type of technology is too dangerous to be used here on Earth.

But could it be used somewhere else, perhaps on Mars?

But then we could never visit Mars again because we would bring back this "dangerous" organism.

FarmMarsNow
2010-May-25, 02:35 PM
Interesting point, Strange. I guess if you introduce a transforming bacteria to Mars, you should be reasonably certain that you can introduce a follow up to cause its extinction. Say, if you introduce strain A to go from a methane atmosphere to a helium - xenon atmosphere; then you will also need an Earth-friendly strain B that will definitely terminate strain A. Its not likely that anyone will be that clever for some time to come.

Related to what you said earlier, I see news articles appearing about the patenting issues related to this artificial DNA. I think a lot of the public attention to this stems from the potential abuses of the technology, but I'm not sure whether patents have any effect upon those kinds of problems. I think its important to separate horror movies about cloning from the legal issues surrounding patenting. Patent or no patent, if someone wants to do stupid and horrible experiments then they're going to do it behind closed doors away from public view. Having said that, I prefer whichever ethical patent strategy produces the most good medicine in the least amount of time.

HenrikOlsen
2010-May-25, 03:09 PM
To talk in computer analogies, what the news article claimed was that they had made an entirely new PC.
What really happened was that they took an existing PC with an English Windows and installed German Windows on it. Not even Linux, they replaced the OS with something that was a near perfect copy apart from a few cosmetic alterations.

Swift
2010-May-25, 03:23 PM
Related to what you said earlier, I see news articles appearing about the patenting issues related to this artificial DNA. I think a lot of the public attention to this stems from the potential abuses of the technology, but I'm not sure whether patents have any effect upon those kinds of problems. I think its important to separate horror movies about cloning from the legal issues surrounding patenting. Patent or no patent, if someone wants to do stupid and horrible experiments then they're going to do it behind closed doors away from public view. Having said that, I prefer whichever ethical patent strategy produces the most good medicine in the least amount of time.
Actually, to the best of my knowledge, the patent issues are generally not related to this synthetic DNA research (though that could eventually be patented). The patents that have been granted relate to technologies for detecting particular DNA sequences, particularly as they relate to diseases such as cancer (increased risk of cancer because of certain genetics) and, in a couple of cases, the patenting of the actual DNA sequences themselves. The ethical issues relate to whether one can or should be allowed to patent a naturally occurring DNA sequence. I don't think any of the patent issues relate to horror movie cloning.

HenrikOlsen
2010-May-25, 05:36 PM
The ethical issues relate to whether one can or should be allowed to patent a naturally occurring DNA sequence.
Wouldn't that be easily dismissable due to the existence of prior art?
Or is the claim that since it hasn't been sequenced before, it hasn't been published before and is thus new in the same sense that a trade secret can be patented long after it started getting used if it's been kept secret until the patent application.

Swift
2010-May-25, 06:09 PM
Wouldn't that be easily dismissable due to the existence of prior art?
Or is the claim that since it hasn't been sequenced before, it hasn't been published before and is thus new in the same sense that a trade secret can be patented long after it started getting used if it's been kept secret until the patent application.
If I was in charge of the patent office, I would think it would be prior art, but patents on sequences have been granted, at least in the US. However, it is apparently still a matter of dispute and I suspect will eventually be settled by the courts.

DrRocket
2010-May-25, 07:40 PM
Wouldn't that be easily dismissable due to the existence of prior art?
Or is the claim that since it hasn't been sequenced before, it hasn't been published before and is thus new in the same sense that a trade secret can be patented long after it started getting used if it's been kept secret until the patent application.

In the U.S. you have one year to patent an invention after it has been "offered for sale". So if it is in use in making a product for sale you cannot get a patent "long after it started getting used." I have seen patents overturned on just this point.

Strange
2010-May-25, 09:53 PM
In the U.S. you have one year to patent an invention after it has been "offered for sale". So if it is in use in making a product for sale you cannot get a patent "long after it started getting used." I have seen patents overturned on just this point.

Not necessarily; if the invention is not the product being sold but part of the manufacturing process, for example.

I have done a lot of work on (technology) patents but have never really understood the logic behind allowing genes to be patented. To my mind, they are discoveries not inventions. Even finding novel uses for them would barely seem patentable. I assume this was a specific extension to the patent rules to "encourage" businesses exploiting this new technology (my cynical half suggests it was driven by businesses that wanted a legal monopoly).

DrRocket
2010-May-25, 10:03 PM
To my mind, they are discoveries not inventions. Even finding novel uses for them would barely seem patentable. I assume this was a specific extension to the patent rules to "encourage" businesses exploiting this new technology (my cynical half suggests it was driven by businesses that wanted a legal monopoly).

That is pretty close to the ruling of the judge in disallowing the Myriad Genetics patent.

BioSci
2010-May-25, 11:19 PM
That is pretty close to the ruling of the judge in disallowing the Myriad Genetics patent.

Diamond v. Chakrabarty, (1980), was a United States Supreme Court case dealing with whether genetically modified organisms can be patented.

The question before the court was a narrow one—the interpretation of 35 U.S.C. 101 (The US Law that covers patents) which says:

"Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title."

The supreme court (Chief Justice Burger) summarized this case famously as finding that Congress had intended patentable subject matter to "include anything under the sun that is made by man,"

With this established supreme court ruling as the "patentability" standard for the past ~30 years, it is quite likely that the Myriad Genetics case ruling by the lower judge will be overturned upon appeal.

It is important to remember that the patent claims are limited to "isolated DNA" and methods to detect certain sequences. Genes in their natural state (one's body/cells) are not covered by the patent.

Ronald Brak
2010-May-26, 12:42 AM
To talk in computer analogies, what the news article claimed was that they had made an entirely new PC.
What really happened was that they took an existing PC with an English Windows and installed German Windows on it. Not even Linux, they replaced the OS with something that was a near perfect copy apart from a few cosmetic alterations.

No, for that analogy to work, it would have to be changed to removing English Windows from a PC and replacing it with German Windows that had been created inside a microbe. And then within 30 hours the German Windows would replace every other program on the PC. Most of the replaced programs would be identical to the old ones, but there would be some changes to show that they had come from the new operating system, such as a blue screensaver.

aastrotech
2010-May-26, 01:53 AM
Who is this "they" that is going to sue someone for not recreating a species that has been extinct for thousands of years? I can see no set of circumstances where someone is sued for such a thing.

I can see some corporation being held responsable for the extinction of species due to, for example, massive oil spillage or other environmental impact and being held liable for its restoration by available techniques.

Swift
2010-May-26, 12:19 PM
Originally Posted by Swift
Who is this "they" that is going to sue someone for not recreating a species that has been extinct for thousands of years? I can see no set of circumstances where someone is sued for such a thing.
I can see some corporation being held responsable for the extinction of species due to, for example, massive oil spillage or other environmental impact and being held liable for its restoration by available techniques.
But that is close to the complete opposite of what I was saying, and has close to nothing to do with this thread (there is already an oil spill thread going). If the oil in the Gulf causes some species to go extinct (not likely), I suspect BP will pay huge fines, but I still can't imagine how they can be punished for not using technology that doesn't yet exist (the technology to restore extinct species from genetic information) to restore it.

And FarmMarsNow's question was about being sued for not recreating sabertoothed tigers, whose extinct was not, I believe, caused by BP.

pranab
2010-Jun-10, 12:22 PM
Title Synthetic DNA and artificial cell – what are the ethical issues its application in the real life and in human disease at cost of 400 million dollars Research
Authors
o*Professor Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya MD(cal) FIC path(Ind), Additional Professor Dept of pathology
oRupak Bhattacharya Bsc(cal)MSc(JU), Ritwik Bhattacharya B.com(cal), Somayak Bhattacharya MBA 7/51 Purbapalli,Sodepur, Kol-110, Miss Upasana Bhattacharya – daughter of Prof PK Bhattacharya Dr. Avisnata Das MBBs(cal) Dalia Mukherjee BA(hons) cal Miss Oindrila Mukherjee, Mrs Chandrani Dutta BSC(Zoology)* Dr Hriday Das MD(cal) DTM&H(cal) *Dr Tarun Biswas MBBS(cal) Dept of Pathology
*Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education Research 244a AJC Bose Road kol-20 West Bengal, India


Artificial and engineered life is a field of study and an associated art form which examine systems related to life, its processes, and its evolution through simulations using computer models, robotics, and biochemistry. There are three main kinds of artificial life named for their approaches: soft from software; hard , from hardware; and wet, from biochemistry molecules. Artificial life imitates traditional biology by trying to recreate biological phenomena. Artificial life has had a controversial history. John Maynard Smith[11] criticized certain artificial life work in 1994 as "fact-free science". However, the recent publication of artificial life articles in widely read world’s top impact factor and coveted science journals such as Science and Nature is evident that artificial life techniques are becoming more accepted in the mainstream-as synthetic biology, at least as a method of studying Darwin’s Chemical evolution. Synthetic and self replicating DNA or RNA is part of such an artificial life and tool for studying evolution of life in earth. Evolving such an artificial DNA in laboratory was thus for long years before attempt of research since Watson and Crick Double Helix. The artificial DNA-like molecule directed the synthesis of copies of itself and then copies of the copies, mimicking the natural process of evolution as it was first outlined by Charles Darwin. A nucleotide is a building block of DNA, or a "letter" in the genetic alphabet used to write the "book" describing our genetic inheritance. The first Synthetic Virus was done in 2002 in stony brook university New york by a team of scientist led by Eckarde wimmr (Science, 9 August 2002, p. 1016) Benner and Michael Sismour- two Graduate astudent of university of California in 2004 first made a synthetic DNA of 12 nucleotides of a virus but it could not however copied itself. In 2010, The first synthetic and self replicating DNA /cell as a bacterium has
been claimed by Professor Dr C J Venter of J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Rockville, Maryland, and San Diego, California, [ He was best known for his work with the Human Genome Project] is successful and same is published in journal the science [1]. The cell is claimed totally derived from a synthetic chromosome [They bought it from a company more than 1000 -1080-base sequences that covered the whole M. mycoides genome], made with four bottles of chemicals on a chemical synthesizer, starting with information and using genetic code created by a super computer. The Venter’s team [20 members team] synthesized the largest piece of DNA so far — a million units in length — and in making it accurate enough to substitute for the cell’s own DNA at cost of $40 million research. Venter's team said they worked with a synthetic version of the DNA from a small bacterium called Mycoplasma mycoides which was transplanted into another bacterium called Mycoplasma capricolum, which had most of its insides DNA removed. The new microbe came to life and began replicating in the lab dish. Specifically, the team showed that the artificially created DNA-like molecule containing six gene-building nucleotides - instead of the four found in natural DNA - could support the molecular "photocopying" operation known as polymerase chain reaction. The genome Dr. Venter synthesized is copied from a natural bacterium that infects goats. 580,000 DNA units in length, of a small bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium. His goal however was to make cells that might take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and produce methaneose .”
Replacing the genome of any bacterial cell with one from another species by transplanting a whole genome as naked DNA is however a long known method as gene cloning[3] / and or gene transfer mechanism called genome transplant. Gene cloning will result a new species[2] De novo synthesis of a self replicating bacterial or human DNA is here an increasingly valuable resource for a broad research and future application. Synthesis of Gene /DNA is also not new but an old concept. Synthesis of gene length (1-3Kb) DNA is however very common[5]. The Process of Synthetic DNA construction involves the assembly of Overlapping Oligonucleotides into contiguous fragments of dsDNA using PCR based and or ligation based methods[4 ,5] or by Pair wise Selection assembly(PSA) methods for large scale long length automated synthetic DNA production more then 91Kb DNA[6], where A target assembly sequence is broken down into sub-fragments that are synthesized with flanking tags .At PSA level 0, sub-fragments are inserted into one of two PSA vectors where tags activate two, divergently oriented selectable markers . Level 0 sub-fragment pairs are excised so that only one activation tag is retained for each sub-fragment. Subsequent pair ligation occurs in a second PSA vector where tags activate a second set of selectable markers , producing a PSA level 1 product. This hierarchical process is repeated, switching between two vectors with different selectable markers, until the full-length product is assembled[6].
Recently, recombination-based methods were also used range of applications to construct a 134-kb fragment in Bacillus subtilis and 583- Kb fragment of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Synthetic DNA (7,8 ). While synthesis of gene-length DNA (1–3 kb) is common, the ability to quickly and cost-effectively assemble longer-length DNA (>10 kb) remained of course a challenge. 256 orthologous genes shared by the Gram-negative Haemophilus influenzae and the Gram-positive bacterial life Mycoplasma genitalium genomes are a close approximation of a minimal gene set . The Mollicutes, generically known as the mycoplasmas, are the best experimental platform for experimentally defining a minimal gene set. Mycoplasmas are obligate parasites that live in relatively unchanging niches requiring little adaptive capability. M. genitalium, a human urogenital pathogen, is the extreme manifestation of this genomic parsimony, having only 482 protein-coding genes and the smallest genome, at 580 kb, of any known free-living organism capable of being grown in axenic culture[9] Mycoplasma genitalium has the smallest genome of any organism that can be grown in pure culture. It has a minimal metabolism and little genomic redundancy. Consequently, its genome is expected to be a close approximation to the minimal set of genes needed to sustain bacterial life. To construct synthetic DNA of Mycoplasma genetelium it is always very essential to identify and delete all the putative non essential gene, isolation and characterization of trasposon mutants and mixture of mutant genes but preservation and non-disruptions of DNA recombination & six DNA repair gene like recA,recU, DNA hellicase genel ike ruvA, ruvB DNA Glycosylase gene muteM which excises oxidized purine from DNA and DNA damage inducible gene[10]
In 1995, a team led by the trio Venter, Smith and Hutchison sequenced the 600,000-base chromosome of bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, the smallest genome of a free-living organism. The microbe has about 500 genes, and researchers found they could delete 100 individual genes without ill effect (Science, 14 February 2003, p. 1006) In 2007, Venter, Smith, Hutchison, and colleagues finally demonstrated that they could transplant natural chromosomes from one microbial species to another (Science, 3 August 2007, p. 632). By 2008, they showed that they could make an artificial chromosome that matched M. genitalium's but also contained "watermark" DNA sequences that would enable them to tell the synthetic genome from the natural one (Science, 29 February 2008, p. 1215) The first Synthetic Virus was done in 2002 in stony brook university New York by a team of scientist led by Eckarde wimmr (Science, 9 August 2002, p. 1016)
The synthetic genome created by Venter's team is almost identical to that of a natural bacterium. It was achieved at great expense; an estimated $40 million, and effort, 20 people working for more than a decade. Dr. Venter took a first step toward this goal three years ago, showing that the natural DNA from one bacterium could be inserted into another and that it would take over the host cell’s operation. He said that before copying the DNA, he excised 14 genes likely to be pathogenic, so the new bacterium, even if it escaped, would be unlikely to cause goats harm.
Dr. Venter calls the result a “synthetic cell” and is presenting the research as a landmark achievement that will open the way to creating useful microbes from scratch to make products like biofuels. At a press conference , Dr. Venter described the converted cell as “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet Though the scientists claim for creation of artificial living cell “He has not created life, only mimicked it,” what we want to say

There remains much to say and about the ethical issues

1] Consequence of progress in the new field of synthetic biology is an emerging view of cells as assemblages of parts that can be put together to produce an organism with a desired phenotype

2].Over the long term, the approach will be used to synthesize increasingly novel designed genomes, and may be a tool for bioterrorism and we need protections from military or terrorist misuse and abuse,"

3]. Will the newer synthetic biology help human mankind by detecting where is the defect lies the human genome that give rise cancer or in formulation of new drug or vaccine?

4]. is it a step towards ... creation of living beings or artificial life with capacities and natures that could never have naturally evolved."

5]. In Future Can some one will design for Human clone? And Is man going to play the role of God?

6] We are also software-driven machines, but with software orders of magnitude more complex than in these simple cells.”
7] If a synthetic RNA can be designed to catalyze its own reproduction within an artificial membrane, we really will have then only created life in the laboratory
8] "It is a technical advance, not a conceptual one. Chimeric organisms have long been created through breeding and, more recently, through the transfer of native genomes into de nucleated target cells.
References
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