BACTERIAL GENOMIC TRANSPLANTS
Drawing, taken from NYT.
A discreet abstract in the last number of Science took into account a news the size of an ocean. Craig Venter and his team extracted the naked and intact genome of Mycoplasma mycoides large colony (LC), free of proteins transplanting it to cells of Mycoplasma capricolum. The resulting cells of the transplanted genome were phenotypically identical to M. mycoides LC donor, according to several approaches. According to Venter "after several days of growth and cellular division the original chromosome disappeared being had cells that alone contain transplanted chromosomes". Dr. Hamilton Smith partner of Venter said however, not to be sure if the inserted genome destroyed to the host genome or it continued effective, being assigned to a daughter cell during cellular division. It is clear now that: I) Venter is very near to create synthetic life. Dr. Leroy Hood, co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, says "to insert a synthetic functional genome inside a cell and to make it work is to be very near creating new life"
II) The technique will be used to create microbes to design, able to produce artificial fuel and to eliminate toxic products. Cells that eliminated atmospheric CO2 and that will produce methane as fuel. In the LS9 Inc. of San Carlos, California a bacteria produces petroleumlike fuel. Venter has founded Synthetic Genomics, to create alternative fuels to coal and petroleum. LS9, has developed a stump of industrial bacteria that produces hydrocarbons from wastage agriculture remains III) The technique will be key to produce bundles of artificial chromosomes. The largest current synthetic DNA measures 35,000 units lenght. The genome of Micoplasma, consists of 580,000 units. According to Venter in his institute, are near to synthesize the first whole genome of Mycoplasma genitalium. IV) The goal of synthetic biology is to create biochemical processes and to choose the sequence of genes that will direct the processes and will build the first genome of Micoplasma. It is a scientists' goal to select and reorder the genetic machinery developed by the evolution, synthesizing first full genomes in the laboratory and then taking control of them, building at the end alive cells. V) Although at the moment single one is transplant of complete genomes, which comes is amazing. Naked parts of genomes will be replaced by modified artificial blocks. Later, full genomes would be scanned. Finally exact virtual versions of full genomic structure will be obtained without cutting it. In those circumstances transplants of Stem cells happened to the forgetfulness. To take stem cells from patients, to modify its genomes and to almost return them healthy, will be a joyful play.