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Monday, March 28, 2016

Synthetic Life

This Bare-Bones Synthetic Cell Has World's Smallest Genetic Code

​Syn 3.0 has what it needs to survive and replicate, and absolutely nothing else.​

William Herkewitz | March 24, 2016

Today a team of synthetic engineers has unveiled an entirely new life-form. It's a bacterium called Syn 3.0. No, the new organism won't dazzle you with any new or special tricks. In fact, just the opposite. It's the most stripped-down form of life ever created.
Scientists led by J. Craig Venter at his namesake nonprofit institute in La Jolla, California, genetically trimmed, clipped and pared down to only the barest essentials for independent, self-sustaining life on a Petri dish. Like a survivalist's bare-bones knapsack, any DNA not absolutely necessary for this living cell's survival has been junked. With a mere 473 genes, the new synthetically engineered bacteria has the smallest genetic code on Earth for a self-sufficient creature. The new cell is outlined today in the journal Science

J. Craig Venter Institute scientists have created a stripped-down life form. Electron micrographs of clusters of JCVI-Syn 3.0 cells magnified about 15,000 times. This is the world's first minimal bacterial cell. Its synthetic genome contains only 473 genes. Source;

<more at; related links and articles: (Scientists identify minimum set of genes needed for life. March 27, 2016) and (Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome. Clyde A. Hutchison III, Ray-Yuan Chuang, Vladimir N. Noskov, Nacyra Assad-Garcia, Thomas J. Deerinck, Mark H. Ellisman, John Gill, Krishna Kannan, Bogumil J. Karas, Li Ma, James F. Pelletier, Zhi-Qing Qi, R. Alexander Richter, Elizabeth A. Strychalski, Lijie Sun, Yo Suzuki, Billyana Tsvetanova, Kim S. Wise, Hamilton O. Smith, John I. Glass, Chuck Merryman, Daniel G. Gibson, and J. Craig Venter. Science  25 Mar 2016, Vol. 351, Issue 6280, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6253. [Abstract:  Designing and building a minimal genome. A goal in biology is to understand the molecular and biological function of every gene in a cell. One way to approach this is to build a minimal genome that includes only the genes essential for life. In 2010, a 1079-kb genome based on the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides (JCV-syn1.0) was chemically synthesized and supported cell growth when transplanted into cytoplasm. Hutchison III et al. used a design, build, and test cycle to reduce this genome to 531 kb (473 genes). The resulting JCV-syn3.0 retains genes involved in key processes such as transcription and translation, but also contains 149 genes of unknown function.])>

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