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.


* 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.

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