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Artificial life will be created ‘within months’

August 23, 2009
more (at source): Carole Lartigue and colleagues removed the bacteria’s entire genome and inserted it into the yeast – an organism that is distant from bacteria on the tree of life.

Yeast is easier to manipulate in the lab and this process allowed the team to alter the genes – in this case, deleting one gene not necessary for bacteria to live.

clipped from www.dailymail.co.uk

Scientists are only months away from  creating artificial life, it was claimed yesterday.

Dr Craig Venter – one of the world’s most famous and controversial biologists – said his U.S. researchers have overcome one of the last big hurdles to making a synthetic organism.

The first artificial lifeform is likely to be a simple man-made bacterium that proves that the technology can work.

But it will be followed by more complex bacteria that turn coal into cleaner natural gas, or algae that can soak up carbon dioxide and convert it into fuels.

They could also be used to create new vaccines and antibiotics.

Craig Venter

The prediction came after a breakthrough by the J Craig Venter Institute in Maryland.

Researchers successfully transferred
the DNA of one type of bacteria into a yeast cell, modified it and then transferred it into another bacterial cell.

The pioneering ‘gene swap’ was performed on a simple species of bacteria called Mycoplasma mycoides.

Gene switch experiments
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