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Synthetic beings ?

  1. Apr 4, 2012 #1
    Synthetic bacteria have been created, which isn't new anymore,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/science/21cell.html

    But I don't know how to correctly define "synthetic" in this work. Are those synthetic bacteria possessing complete identities as those in nature ? Did they try out the bacteria's most observable behaviors ? I am interested in cooperative activities in bacteria reproduction and replication.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2012 #2
    The M. mycoides synthetic genome is considered "synthetic" because the DNA used began in a DNA synthesis machine, using lab chemistry techniques to produce it. The actual genome was pretty much a replica of the natural one, with some "watermark" DNA added to uniquely identify it by the creators (like the watermark on money, or the signature on a work of art).

    If i remember correctly they may have deleted some DNA that they considered unnecessary, but it was largely just like copy-paste.

    The same folks, JCVI, have also been interested for a while in a minimal genome, and had talked of deleting as much DNA as possible while still retaining self-replication and growth of cells.
     
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