Landmark as Lab Creates Synthetic Cell with Minimum Genes Needed for Life

March 25, 2016

(The Guardian) – Geneticists have established the minimum needed for life. They have designed and created a synthetic cell which can survive and replicate with just 473 genes. Humans and fruit flies have more than 20,000 genes each. The finding is a landmark in biological understanding. It could illuminate the mysterious story of life’s evolution in the primal oceans more than three billion years ago. It could provide the basis for a new generation of made-to-order organisms designed specifically to produce new antibiotics, new fuels and new drugs. And it is the climax of decades of theory and experiment.