Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute have developed a technique for generating modified strains of bacteria with novel, genetically engineered properties, they report online today (August 20) in Science. The advance could help scientists tweak microorganisms to more efficiently produce biofuels, the researchers say.
Modified M. Mycoides
Image: The J. Craig Venter Institute
"I think it's an important and interesting advance," said linkurl:James Collins,; a bioengineer at Boston University who was not involved in the study. "I suspect this will turn out to be quite important for bioengineering and bioenergy systems." Last year, Venter, an author on the paper (and a member of The Scientist's editorial board), linkurl:reported; that he and his collaborators had created a synthetic bacterial genome and cloned it into a yeast cell. However, they were unable to transfer the genome into a cell that would use the genetic code to produce a functioning version...
Mycoplasma mycoidesMycoplasma capricolum,M. mycoidesM. capricolumM. capricolum'sM. mycoides

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