i.e., the artificial creation of DNA, genes, viri, and cells that mimic, or surpass, natural systems.
1. Synthetic Polio Virus - July 12 ,2002 : Molecular Origin of Life Research or Bioterrorism?
E. Wimmer from the University of New York at Stony Brook used the poliovirus' widely known genetic
sequence to synthesize the virus from shelf chemicals. They followed a recipe they downloaded from
the internet and used gene sequences from a mail-order supplier. The artificially constructed virus
appears identical to its natural counterpart; when injected it into mice the animals were paralyzed and died.
Phi X-174 virus synthesized
- November 2003 :
Craig Venter and colleagues
created an artificial
version of Phi X-174 by piecing together synthetic DNA ordered from a biotechnology company.
They used a technique called polymerase cycle assembly (PCA) to link the strands of DNA together.
The 1918 Spanish Flu Virus
is Reconstructed -
October 2005 :
Jeffery K. Taubenberger, a
pathologist at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and his colleagues were able to piece together the
virus's genes from two unusual sources: 1) lung tissue removed at autopsy from a 21-year-old soldier and
2) the frozen body of an Inuit woman who died of influenza in November 1918 and was buried in the Alaskan
permafrost. These sources provided intact pieces of viral RNA that could be analysed and sequenced.
virus's has eight "RNA gene segments" and by gene sequencing and PCR they reassembled the virus.
of the 8 genes: Hemagglutinin-A type [H5] and Neuraminidase type 1 [N1] are protein surface coatings.
There are at least 16 different HA antigens, which binds the virus to the host cell. Neuraminidase is an
antigenic glycoprotein enzyme found on the surface of the flu virus. Nine neuraminidase subtypes are
known, which aid in the efficiency of virus release from infected cells.
genitalium, a gram-positive parasitic bacterium, has
for proteins), only 265–350 of them are essential to life. Can we assemble these 300?