Bioethics News

Landmark as Lab Creates Synthetic Cell with Minimum Genes Needed for Life

March 25, 2016

(The Guardian) – Geneticists have established the minimum needed for life. They have designed and created a synthetic cell which can survive and replicate with just 473 genes. Humans and fruit flies have more than 20,000 genes each. The finding is a landmark in biological understanding. It could illuminate the mysterious story of life’s evolution in the primal oceans more than three billion years ago. It could provide the basis for a new generation of made-to-order organisms designed specifically to produce new antibiotics, new fuels and new drugs. And it is the climax of decades of theory and experiment.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.