For as long as I can remember; biologists around the world have been trying to modify the molecular biology’s ‘DNA’of living organisms, thus paving the path to a new age for these organisms of the world.
Author: Zoha Tahir Leghari
For years, a seemingly arduous task that has perplexed scientists all over is now beginning to look more and more solvable. A contemporary example of this can be found by the recent invention using E.coli inside a laboratory of the Cambridge University of London.
E.coli is the first organism to have synthetically modified DNA. E.coli is the organism found in the soil and gut of the human being. They are rod-like in shape.
The genome of the E.coli consists of 4m bp and contains 4k genes. The information is stored in the sequence of the A, T, C, and G base pairs. A, T, C, and G are the bases. A will always be opposite to T, and C will always be opposite to G.
The researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge experimented on the genome of the E.coli and created it with synthetically redesigned DNA.
The researchers at Cambridge laboratory while experimenting with the genome of E.coli replaced T in TCG a codon that codes for an amino acid called serine with A, making it ACG. Basically, this synthetical codon also codes for the same amino acid. They also similarly replace two more codons.
“It was completely unclear whether it was possible to make a genome this large and whether it was possible to change it so much,” said Jason chin, an expert in synthetic biology. He was the one who led this research.
Scientist’s made 18,000 edits. They edited every time those three codons occurred. And in those attempts, they succeeded in making synthetically DNA and inserted it in E.coli. The result was reported. This synthetical organism is known as Syn61.
This synthetical molecular biology’s organism is a little longer than normal E.coli and grows more slowly than the normal one. But I still think this is amazing that it still grows at all.
This organism is already being used in the Biopharmaceutical industry for making medicine and also for resistance against viruses thus paving ways to cope with the menace of antibiotic resistance in pathogens.