Scientists Create First Synthetic Self Replicating Life
Man-made DNA has booted up a cell for the first time.
In a feat that is the culmination of two and a half years of tests and adjustments, researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute inserted artificial genetic material — chemically printed, synthesized and assembled — into cells that were then able to grow naturally.
“We all had a very good feeling that it was going to work this time,” said Venter Institute synthetic biologist Daniel Gibson, co-author of the study published May 20 in Science. “But we were cautiously optimistic because we had so many letdowns following the previous experiments.”
On a Friday in March, scientists inserted over 1 million base pairs of synthetic DNA into Mycoplasma capricolum cells before leaving for the weekend. When they returned on Monday, their cells had bloomed into colonies.