Monday, July 10, 2017

A New Organism is Created With The Smallest Genome



The J. Craig Venter Institute in California has created an artificial species that has the smallest number of genes of any currently living organism. The organism named Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn3.0 has only 473 genes and 149 of those genes do not contain any known function. This species comes years after Venter's first creation in 1995, the Mycoplasma genitalium which had 525 genes. The current creation grows faster than the original, which allows for easier lab usage. It was created in part through adding and removing genes, using CRISPR tools until life could be sustained and reproduction was viable for the species. The goal of this project is to further our limited understanding of biology and the genes needed to sustain life. Biologists are able to learn more about editing and customizing cells with this invention of this artificial species, which could have a positive impact on drug development and alternative energy sources in the future. Biology research has improved vastly over the past decade and I believe this research will open doors in the medical field. It may become possible to grow organisms that can be used to fight disease and help reduce the issue of resistance in the population.

Article: http://discovermagazine.com/2017/janfeb/5-biologists-create-organism-with-smallest-genome

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