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Friday, May 21, 2010

Craig Venter unveils "synthetic life" - follow up

Some TED talk links and articles.
- LRK -

Craig Venter unveils "synthetic life"

About this talk

Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they've created
the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic
DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the
beginning of a new era for science.

[As a TED talk it is 18 minutes and chops off some of the questions
seen on other posts - LRK -]
Interesting comments below the video link.

Another post with more information and links to the TED talk.
- LRK -

Integral Options Cafe

TED Talks - Craig Venter Unveils "Synthetic Life"

Life re-created. Blue colonies (top) indicate a successfully
transplanted genome, with self-replicating bacteria revealed in an
electron micrograph.


   Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome
   Daniel G. Gibson,1 John I. Glass,1 Carole Lartigue,1 Vladimir N.
Noskov,1 Ray-Yuan Chuang,1 Mikkel A. Algire,1 Gwynedd A. Benders,2
Michael G. Montague,1 Li Ma,1 Monzia M. Moodie,1 Chuck Merryman,1
Sanjay Vashee,1 Radha Krishnakumar,1 Nacyra Assad-Garcia,1 Cynthia
Andrews-Pfannkoch,1 Evgeniya A. Denisova,1 Lei Young,1 Zhi-Qing Qi,1
Thomas H. Segall-Shapiro,1 Christopher H. Calvey,1 Prashanth P.
Parmar,1 Clyde A. Hutchison, III,2 Hamilton O. Smith,2 J. Craig

   We report the design, synthesis, and assembly of the 1.08-Mbp
Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 genome starting from digitized genome
sequence information and its transplantation into a Mycoplasma
capricolum recipient cell to create new Mycoplasma mycoides cells that
are controlled only by the synthetic chromosome. The only DNA in the
cells is the designed synthetic DNA sequence, including "watermark"
sequences and other designed gene deletions and polymorphisms, and
mutations acquired during the building process. The new cells have
expected phenotypic properties and are capable of continuous

   1 The J. Craig Venter Institute, 9704 Medical Center Drive,
Rockville, MD 20850, USA.
   2 The J. Craig Venter Institute, 10355 Science Center Drive, San
Diego, CA 92121, USA.

   * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

   Received for publication 9 April 2010. Accepted for publication 13 May 2010.

Science has made the article available for free (download the PDF - You can
also read a free summary article at the Science site, written by
Elizabeth Pennisi.

It took 20 years and an around $40 million to get to this point, which
is revealed online by the journal Science.

   Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they've
created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by
synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement
marks the beginning of a new era for science.

   Venter, the man who led the private effort to sequence the human
genome, is hard at work now on even more potentially world-changing

   First, there's his mission aboard the Sorcerer II, a 92-foot
yacht, which, in 2006, finished its voyage around the globe to sample,
catalouge and decode the genes of the ocean's unknown microorganisms.
Quite a task, when you consider that there are tens of millions of
microbes in a single drop of sea water. Then there's the J. Craig
Venter Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to researching genomics and
exploring its societal implications.

   In 2005, Venter founded Synthetic Genomics, a private company with
a provocative mission: to engineer new life forms. Its goal is to
design, synthesize and assemble synthetic microorganisms that will
produce alternative fuels, such as ethanol or hydrogen. He was on Time
magzine's 2007 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

   In early 2008, scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute
announced that they had manufactured the entire genome of a bacterium
by painstakingly stitching together its chemical components. By
sequencing a genome, scientists can begin to custom-design bootable
organisms, creating biological robots that can produce from scratch
chemicals humans can use, such as biofuel. And in 2010, they
announced, they had created "synthetic life" -- DNA created digitally,
inserted into a living bacterium, and remaining alive.

       "Either he is one of this era's most electrifying scientists,
or he's one of the most maddening." ~Washington Post

[TED talk link]


and from MEFEDiA feed
Craig Venter unveils "synthetic life"

J. Craid Venter Institute

Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -

Web Site:
Comments accepted here -
RSS link:
TEDMEDS  - Where do Healthcare and Medicine Collide with Brilliant
Minds and Uninhibited Imagination?
2010 Speakers
Craid Venter at TEDMED 2009
Prey [Hardcover]
Michael Crichton
(Author) Review
In Prey, bestselling author Michael Crichton introduces bad guys that
are too small to be seen with the naked eye but no less deadly or
intriguing than the runaway dinosaurs that made 1990's Jurassic Park
such a blockbuster success.
Fact Sheet: JCVI’s Synthetic Genomics Research
4 page



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