LAB LIFE FORMS
This research thread looks at developments of new life or lively forms in the lab.
NEWS STORY : Scientists Create E. Coli Bacteria With Completely Synthetic Genome, Smithsonian Mag, 17.05.19
Researchers from England’s Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology have successfully created E. coli bacteria with entirely human-made DNA, marking a milestone in the burgeoning field of synthetic biology and paving the way for future innovation built on so-called “designer” bacteria.
According to a new study published in the journal Nature, the synthetic genome is by far the largest of its kind. The product of a two-year research campaign, the redesigned DNA consists of four million segments—four times more than the previous record holder. Perhaps most impressively, the bacteria contain just 61 codons, as opposed to the 64 found in nearly all living creatures. Despite this seeming disparity, the synthetic bacteria appear to function much like normal E. coli. The main differences, as The New York Times’ Carl Zimmer reports, are a slower growth rate and longer length.