The most basic form of life synthesized by bioengineers

This will be a major turning point in the history of synthetic biology. A group of scientists modeled the most basic form of life. This exceptional feat was achieved by researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the United States, and the Technische Universität Dresden in Germany.

The resulting synthetic life model was named JCVI-syn3A. It is the culmination of a long process of simulating energy and metabolic reactions. This feat will allow scientists to better understand the nature of life.

This exceptional discovery opens up new horizons in the explanation and mastery of life. The world is heading towards the discovery of new biological functions.

Towards total mastery of life?

Compared to the ancient synthetic life form known as JCVI-syn1.0, the new one, JCVI-syn3A, has been stripped of the maximum genes from Mycoplasma mycloids. This effort of scientists made it possible to obtain a single-celled synthetic organic cell with only 473 genes.

Scientists have analyzed the different genetic, metabolic and structural changes that take place in a culture of duplication of synthetic bacteria. The work of researchers has led to full observation of the genetic manipulations that impact cell growth and division.

“What’s new here is that we’ve developed a three-dimensional, fully dynamic kinetic model of a living minimal cell that mimics what happens in the real cell. »

Zaida Luthey-Schulten, chemist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Mysteries yet to be solved

If scientists are satisfied with this feat, they will still have to study the strange behavior of this organization. In addition, in their next studies, the researchers will have to try to detect with precision the action of each gene of the new cell.

It is therefore a huge project that opens up before scientists in order to detect the meanders of life. New, more streamlined and lightweight versions of the cell synthetic could very soon see the light of day in laboratories.


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