APR 13, 2016 4:43 AM PDT

A Life Form from Synthetic Cells


While it may seem like something out of a science fiction movie, in 2010 researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute created a bacteria that was entirely from lab-created DNA. Essentially this was the world's first synthetic life form. The process has been refined since then, stripping the bacteria down to only what is necessary and in March the research team behind the project published the results of the work done since 2010. The journal Science published the paper by lead author Clyde A. Hutchison, III, Ph.D., senior author J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., and senior team of Hamilton O. Smith, MD, Daniel G. Gibson, Ph.D., and John I. Glass, Ph.D.

The bacteria created has the minimum number of genes for a life form to function, precisely 473. It's called the JCVI-syn 3.0 and the possibilities for its use seem limitless. Researchers hope that by creating a bacteria, from scratch they can understand how life came to exist on earth. Bacteria that is custom made can also be used to convert grass to biofuels, to treat disease and even to ward off pests from important crops. The process of creating the custom cellular material was essentially like writing code for a computer, only in the field of cell biology the results can have a significant impact on life as we know it.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
Studies Confirm that Bottlenose Dolphins Vocalize to Synchronize Behaviors
MAR 26, 2021
Studies Confirm that Bottlenose Dolphins Vocalize to Synchronize Behaviors
The ability to communicate with one another to coordinate behaviors contributes to the success of social mammals, like b ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
MAR 26, 2021
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
The east coast is preparing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles. A gigantic swarm of periodical cicadas is due ...
APR 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Earth-like Planet Discovered Orbiting Red Dwarf Star
APR 21, 2021
Earth-like Planet Discovered Orbiting Red Dwarf Star
Researchers from Spain have discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting the star, GJ-740, a red dwarf star located 36 light ...
MAY 02, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Average Day on Venus Lasts 243 Earth Days
MAY 02, 2021
Average Day on Venus Lasts 243 Earth Days
Although Venus is our planet’s closest neighbour, its fundamental properties have remained largely unknown. Now th ...
MAY 23, 2021
Space & Astronomy
More Accurate Clocks Create More Disorder in the Universe
MAY 23, 2021
More Accurate Clocks Create More Disorder in the Universe
Physicists at the University of Oxford in the UK have conducted an experiment that suggests the more accurately clocks t ...
JUN 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Signatures of Life on Earth Remotely
JUN 21, 2021
Scientists Detect Signatures of Life on Earth Remotely
An international team led by researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland and the National Centre of Competenc ...
Loading Comments...