- Venter is talking about using synthetic genomics to possibly create next year's flu vaccine (and has already formed a vaccine company)
- White House & Congress were briefed; decided not to classify this.
- admits this technology could be used to create dangerous pathogens, and say it should be controlled by monitoring who is buying the chemicals needed to synthesize.
- next step: synthetic algae (< 2Mbp)
- the new synthetic cell has gone through about 1B steps of self-replication
- the code for the English words hasn't been revealed; they're hoping someone finds. "Designed to be biological neutral."
- Nature has eight commentaries on this development (manuscript is free).
- In a commentary in Nature, Arthur Caplan calls this "one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of mankind."
- Project cost about $40M ($30M from Synthetic Genomics; some from DOE; others)
- name of this cell: Mycoplasma mycoides JCVIsyn 1.0 (new strain, not a new species)
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Synthetic genome press conference highlights
Venter's press conference Webcast is here:
Posted by David Appell at 5/20/2010 10:34:00 AM