First synthetic bacterial cell: 4th Most Bizarre Biofuels Story of the Year

July 28, 2010 |

“God Loses Monopoly: Synthetic Genomics creates first synthetic bacterial cell,” went the headline in our May feature on the creation of a synthetic life form by a team at Synthetic Genomics.

Her formal name is M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 – you can call her Syndi.

In a publication in Science, Daniel Gibson, Ph.D. and a team of 23 additional researchers outline the steps to synthesize a 1.08 million base pair Mycoplasma mycoides genome, constructed from four bottles of chemicals that make up DNA. This synthetic genome has been “booted up” in a cell to create the first cell controlled completely by a synthetic genome. Craig Venter at Synthetic Genomics, which announced the breakthrough in May, described the converted cell as “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer. This is a philosophical advance as much as a technical advance.”

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Category: Research

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