News & Events
The first computer genome receives modifications
- July 26, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Today, specialists from the Higher Polytechnic School of Zurich presented their new development of a unique artificial genome created with the help of a special computer technique based on the real living genome of the Caulobacter crescentus bacterium – this artificial genome was named Caulobacter ethensis 2.0 and became the world's first artificial genome of the full sample. It should be noted that such attempts were made about ten years ago, and then biologist Craig Venter managed to create the first synthetic bacterium, which, however, did not survive for a long time – unlike the presented artificial genome of bacteria of this family.
It is worth noting that the computer technology used in the process of replication is still banned from disclosure, and therefore we can only guess what functionality and set of tools was used by the developers. Specialists from Switzerland themselves somehow used the results achieved by Venter and managed to recreate the real artificial genome of the bacterium Caulobacter, whose representatives live quite well in the laboratory of specialists.
Having discovered more than 4,000 genes, experts realized that most of them are “genetic debris” one way or another and cannot be used to recreate the artificial genome – and therefore they left only 680 genes, on the basis of which they created the genome. Having done some more work on the artificial genome, the specialists managed to sort out more than a third of the genetic variants and combinations of this number and thus made the artificial genome more stable.
Thus, the Swiss biologists managed for the first time to create a fully functional genome of an artificial type, which even has the ability to develop and reproduce itself – and this is already becoming an important indicator of the success of the experiment. Not to mention the fact that in parallel with this, experts continue to actively explore new opportunities that they open up using this computer technology.