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Author Topic: Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms  (Read 1684 times)

CWuestefeld

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Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms
« on: December 18, 2007, 10:03:32 AM »
Incredibly fascinating yet vaguely scary science headline:

Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms
from the Washington Post (Registration Required)

It has been 50 years since scientists first created DNA in a test tube, stitching ordinary chemical ingredients together to make life's most extraordinary molecule.

Until recently, however, even the most sophisticated laboratories could make only small snippets of DNA -- an extra gene or two to be inserted into corn plants, for example, to help the plants ward off insects or tolerate drought.

Now researchers are poised to cross a dramatic barrier: the creation of life forms driven by completely artificial DNA. Scientists in Maryland have already built the world's first entirely handcrafted chromosome -- a large looping strand of DNA made from scratch in a laboratory, containing all the instructions a microbe needs to live and reproduce.

To read more: http://www.washingto...AR2007121601900.html