Scientists build first synthetic bacteria

Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute claimed the successful construction of the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell.

The synthetic cell is called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 and proves that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome.

It is hoped that this discovery will lead to the development of many important applications and products including biofuels, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, clean water and food products. Cleaning up oil spills maybe?

Above: Negatively stained transmission electron micrographs of aggregated M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0.

Credit: Electron micrographs were provided by Tom Deerinck and Mark Ellisman of the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at the University of California at San Diego