Synthetic Life Forms In The Lab
Researchers at Scripps Research Institute are dabbling with creating synthetic life. Scientists are betting on the creation of extended genome that can be inherited by successive generations. One of the goals stated by the article is insert the extended genome into bacteria so they can create proteins and possible drugs that would be impossible to create with current biochemistry.
One of Scripps Research Institute achievements in 2009 include regenerative medicine, also known as stem cells. Cells can be removed from a patient and used to create new organs for transplant that will not be rejected by the patient’s body.
Other achievements include work on blindness. In 2007 researchers were able to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels in test animals with neovascular eye disease. Similar tests were carried out on a vascular brain tumor with little or no effect on the normal tissue.
The genome or DNA contains two additional base pairs making it the first synthetic life form of its kind. This new synthetic life form created with the modified genome is unique and cannot be compared to other natural life forms. Floyd Romesburg, team leader of Scripp’s Research Institute scientists, concluded: “It’s a discovery that shakes our understanding of life by the scruff of the neck, challenging the preconception that DNA is somehow inalterable.”
“Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California have created the first synthetic life forms, constructed with the goal of passing on an extended genetic code to succeeding generations.”