Can We Use Genetics To Build NEW Species?
How do you learn to create organisms? You start small. Scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute sequenced the genome of the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides and coded it into a computer. After intensive study, they understood the genome well enough to create a synthetic version of the organism FROM SCRATCH. But why stop there? The scientists began tweaking the code, trying to see what the smallest possible sequence was to sustain life. After several versions, they succeeded in creating a synthetic organism with only 473 genes – the world’s smallest known viable life-form.