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Breaking news hurtling around the internet is that Craig Venter’s team, of genome sequencing fame,* has published in Science their report of creating a bacterial cell with a synthetic genome. The research paper is available for free (PDF file) via the Science abstract (web page).

Nature has a short article giving responses from authors who they describe as ’eight synthetic-biology experts’,** also available for free (PDF file). I would encourage people to read this opinion article. They’re interestingly diverse takes on this news.

The research paper itself is quite dry, being almost entirely a description of the methodology used in the construction of the synthetic genome and it incorporation into the host cell.

I would love to have time to say something meaningful on this of my own, but just as this news is hurtling around the internet, so is my day and I must go off and hurtle along with it.

Footnotes

* More than simple fame, as if fame were ever only simple; he is a controversial figure to some.

** My perception is that many of these authors have related expertise that can be applied to synthetic biology, rather than being synthetic biology experts per se.


Other articles on Code for life:

Testing common ancestry to all modern-day life

A plastic ocean

Friday picture: molecular modelling of the cytoplasm

The inheritance of face recognition (or should you blame your parents if you can’t recognise faces?)