A team of scientists from the University of Cambridge has managed to get one organism to which the genome is fully adapted, the set of all their genes, according to a study published in the journal Nature.
It is an artificial strain of the Eschericia coli bacteria (E. coli), an organism that lives in the gut and is widely used in laboratories.
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The researchers, led by biologist Jason Chin, completely manipulated the genetic material of this microbe with the aim of making it easier.
"We have recoded 18,214 codons [combinación de bases nitrogenadas del ARN] to create an organism with a genome of 61 codons; This organism uses 59 codons to code the 20 amino acids and allows the elimination of a previously essential transfer RNA, "the authors emphasize.
To reach this goal, the scientists used a DNA sequence that codes for amino acids, which proteins form. They then split sections of this genome and introduced them into the microorganism.
The importance of the advance is that the resulting E. coli bacterium could remain alive, although it is growing more slowly, according to The New York Times.
Chin & # 39; s team worked on the project for two years. His research is part of the field synthetic biology, a relatively new branch that strives for creating organisms that can be used to break down pollutants, produce drugs or fuels.
While still investigating synthetic biology are very expensive and complex, the future field is promising because they can be made organisms that function as "frames" where new biological functions can be introduced.
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