Craig Venter maakt synthetische bacterie

De Volkskrant schreef er afgelopen zaterdag over: zeven jaar na zijn eerste aankondiging heeft Craig Venter "kunstmatig leven" gemaakt. Op deze website schreef ik er zo'n drie jaar geleden ook al over. Blijkens een artikel in Science is nu een bacterie ontwikkeld op basis van kunstmatig dna.

‘Dit is de eerste synthetische cel ooit’, claimt Venter in een persbericht. ‘En we noemen hem synthetisch omdat hij geheel is afgeleid van een synthetisch chromosoom dat we hebben gemaakt met behulp van computerdata, vier flessen chemicaliën en een dna-synthetizer.’

Er is uiteraard heel wat publiciteit geweest, vandaar dat ik hier volsta met wat links:
1. Het artikel uit de Volkskrant.
2. First Self-Replicating, Synthetic Bacterial Cell Constructed by J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers.

As in the team’s 2008 publication in which they described the successful synthesis of the M. genitalium genome, they designed and inserted into the genome what they called watermarks. These are specifically designed segments of DNA that use the “alphabet” of genes and proteins that enable the researcher to spell out words and phrases. The watermarks are an essential means to prove that the genome is synthetic and not native, and to identify the laboratory of origin. Encoded in the watermarks is a new DNA code for writing words, sentences and numbers. In addition to the new code there is a web address to send emails to if you can successfully decode the new code, the names of 46 authors and other key contributors and three quotations: "TO LIVE, TO ERR, TO FALL, TO TRIUMPH, TO RECREATE LIFE OUT OF LIFE." - JAMES JOYCE; "SEE THINGS NOT AS THEY ARE, BUT AS THEY MIGHT BE.”-A quote from the book, “American Prometheus”; "WHAT I CANNOT BUILD, I CANNOT UNDERSTAND." - RICHARD FEYNMAN.

3. Venter Creates First Synthetic Self-Replicating Bacteria from Scratch. Singularity Hub.

Craig Venter wants to program life the way we program computers, and today he announced a momentous win: the first synthetic self-replicating bacterium. The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) used the four types of chemicals that make up DNA, and complex assembly methods utilizing yeast cells, to ’program’ the 1.08 million base pairs that make up the genome for the bacteria cell. As described in the journal Science, the result was a synthetic copy of the Mycoplasma mycoides, dubbed M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0, that can grow and divide like normal. The little “1.0″ highlights the vast potential of Venter’s project, as JCVI will be able to update and improve their synthetic organism base pair by base pair, gene by gene. Computers can now program sustainable synthetic life – welcome to the future.

4. Foto's en artikelen van het J.Craig Venter Institute.
5. Craig Venter unveils "synthetic life" op TED.

6. Het complete artikel van Science.