Daniel Gibson says that being able to synthesize new genomes may "dramatically speed up the process of engineering microbes that can carry out tasks such as efficiently producing biofuels or vaccines," as he tells MIT's Technology Review. Last year, Gibson's team at the J. Craig Venter Institute announced that they made a synthetic genome using yeast cells to assemble the oligonucleotides, and Gibson has now developed a way of doing that without the yeast. Their aim, Technology Review says, is to come up with a "minimal cell" that contains only the bare essentials needed for life. "Gibson and his colleagues at the Venter Institute believe that synthetic biologists could use this minimal cell as the basis for cells that efficiently produce biofuels, drugs, and other industrial products," Technology Review's Katherine Bourzac writes.
To the Bare Essentials
Apr 22, 2011