Contributory Info: The First Synthetic Life Created
J. Craig Venter, co-sequencer of the human genome and founder of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit genomic research organization, has been working with researchers to create the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell.
In May of 2010, results of success were published in a press release. The Washington Post called JCVI’s victory “a landmark in the emerging field of ‘synthetic biology,’ which aims to control the behavior of organisms by manipulating their genes.”
The Post continued, “The Venter team stopped short of creating new cells with new functions. Instead, it manufactured a Mycoplasma mycoides genome that was virtually identical to the natural one and used it to make cells that were also nearly indistinguishable from the natural cells.
“In that sense, the experiment’s success is more symbolic than practical. It is unlikely to have any immediate effect on the biotech world, which for more than two decades has used various methods of recombinant DNA technology to manipulate to manufacture drugs, produce pest-resistant crops and enhance the nutritional value of food.”