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Scientists Creating Homebrew DNA

  • 2018-07-31 17:52
  • 아시아뉴스통신=Ian Maclang 기자
Photo by: qimono via Pixabay
An international team of scientists is embarked upon a project to build custom DNA – the blueprint of life - from scratch.


Scientists from 11 labs on four continents are creating a new version of the genome for yeast.


For years, scientists have altered DNA by clipping and inserting segments created in the lab.The controversial new project takes that work a step further by creating new DNA molecules from the ground up.


Led by a team at New York University, researchers will rewrite the genome along the way, experimenting with ways of adding and subtracting characteristics in the resulting yeast organisms.


The term “genome” refers to the unique genetic code of a particular living thing.Each individual organism has a unique genome, but the genome for a particular species is built according to the same plan.The research team’s DNA-from-the-ground-up technology will allow it to construct a new organism, potentially the first exemplar of a distinct species in the yeast family.


The research is likely to help advance scientific understanding regarding the way genomes work.It could also lead to new and better vaccines and other health benefits.


Once the DNA is created, it could be inserted into living yeast cells.The cells would then function according to new rules based on the genes added to the DNA by scientists.Researchers say the experiment will yield invaluable information about disease and potential treatments.


If successful, technology developed for the project could allow scientists to make yeast that serves as an efficient biofuel, for instance, or that scrubs excess carbon from the atmosphere.Scientists could create trees whose root systems purify water or plants that detect explosives at airport security gates.


In the long term, experiments like this are likely to be seen as a major step in helping scientists create new organisms, never before seen forms of life.


Redesigned DNA could allow scientists to create genetically altered human beings.Information gleaned from the current project could contribute to the knowledge necessary to create human beings without body hair, or with resistance to diseases or pollutants, or strengthened immune systems or stronger muscles.


That’s in the future.Today, scientists are talking about inserting DNA into cells to bolster the body’s production of pharmaceutical proteins, or to create stem cells, which are increasingly used in a variety of medical treatments.


Yeast is a simple organism, but the yeast genome requires scientists to forge 12 million chemical links.It’s a major undertaking that will take months or years.


For comparison, the human genome has 3.2 billion chemical links.


Researchers say that creating the new yeast genome will require them to add, remove, or edit about 1 million DNA “letters,” the ACTG nucleotides that make up the DNA molecule.

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