The first genome created by the computer may be the basis for synthetic life

A group of researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich took a step toward the creation of the first synthetic living organism. According to scientists, they managed to create the first computer the genome of a living organism, called Caulobacter ethensis-2.0. It was established by purifying and simplifying the code of the natural bacteria Caulobacter crescentus, and at the moment is a single large DNA molecule, which in the future may become the basis for the first synthetic life.

The first genome created by the computer may be the basis for synthetic life

In fact, researchers have continued to work geneticist Craig Venter, who a decade ago created the first digital copy of the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides. He was subsequently implanted into a bacterium, which has proved its viability and even the ability to reproduce.

In the new study, researchers have stepped a little further and made more viable bacterial genome and developed. Bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, which has become the main object of the study, contains about 4000 genes. Like most organisms, including humans, a huge proportion of these genes are "junk" - necessary for life there were only 680 of them. This minimal "genome", according to scientists, is more than enough to sustain the life of the bacteria. In a simplified genome turned out about 800,000 letters of genetic code, using an algorithm to determine the ideal DNA sequences, the researchers were able to observe its sixth share.

With our algorithm, we have given an entirely new genome sequence of DNA letters, and it no longer resembles the original.

bit Kristen, head of research

To verify the changes, scientists have developed bacteria that had as a natural gene Caulobacter, and segments of artificial. Some natural genes were switched off and, to the delight of researchers, 580 of the 680 artificial genes began to perform their work.

Using obtained in this study, knowledge, scientists will be able to create a fully functional version 3.0 of the genome. In the end, they may be able to create synthetic organisms designed for specific purposes - for example, for the production of vitamins.

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