Tarry for the Nonce

December 21, 2005

It’s alive! It’s alive!

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:24 pm

Scientists are working to generate a new life form.

Robert Holt, head of sequencing for the Genome Science Centre at the University of British Columbia, is leading efforts at his Vancouver lab to play a key role in the production of the first synthetic life form — a microbe made from scratch . . .

The Venter team is starting small, working to construct a simpler version of the bacteria known as Mycoplasma genitalium, a common resident of the human reproductive tract. They hope to determine the minimum number of genes required to breathe life into an organism . . .

“So the profound problem is what do you do with this DNA once you get it? How do you turn it into an actual organism? You need the genome to encode and make the organism.

“But the way biology works, you need the organism to make the genome.”

I watch with interest to see if they succeed. I suspect not.


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