Tuesday, April 19, 2016

First Constructed Designer Chromosome: Synthetic Eukaryotes

First Constructed Designer Chromosome: Synthetic Eukaryotes

Craig Venter, geneticist, contructed the world's first synthetic organism- "a variant of a bacterium that causes infections in goats". In April 2016, researchers attempted to synthesize a synthetic eukaryote microbe, Saccharomyces cerevisae, or baker's yeast. Baker's yeast is a eukaryote organism which is known to have chromosomes "riddled with introns (pieces of DNA that dont contribute to the final protein) and "junk DNA" with no known purpose". The researchers deleted introns and junk DNA from chromosome 3 than added in code to create 98 cutting sites. This method allows researchers in the future to "pop out" and study the genes and effects of those genes. The goal of the researchers was to eliminate the non-essential genes to leave them with the bare minimum number of genes possible. The synthetic chromosome was injected into a living yeast cell and functions just as a normal chromosome. The accurate function of the synthetic chromosome is a good sign for the future of synthesizes chromosomes and genes. However, synthetsizing the whole orgnaims is a long way to go.

The researchers were able to modify a chromosome and inject it back into the living organism and this chromosome funtioned as normal. In the future this may be the ground for eliminated mutations in human chromosomes to prevent disease such as cancer. Although it is a long way to go it a surely possible!

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