Friday, January 25, 2008

Scientists Create Synthetic DNA

As the title says, "US scientists have taken a major step toward creating the first ever artificial life form by synthetically reproducing the DNA of a bacteria." You can read about it here. There article in Science can be found here. Biologists are having a good week.


Flavin said...

An article about this is up at The New York Times.

Some highlights:
1. The bacterium they "reproduced" is an STD.

2. From the NYT article, The team also added some DNA segments to the genome to serve as “watermarks,” allowing scientists to distinguish the synthetic genome from the natural one.

That raises new possibilities of using microbes as a method of communication. Dr. Venter said the watermarks contain coded messages. Sleuths will have to determine the amino acid sequence coded for by the watermarks, in order to decipher the message. “It’s a fun thing that has a practical application,” he said.

Awesome. Secret codes in synthetic genomes. I love it.