Sunday, October 15, 2006
Clocking at a little under 160Kb, the carsonella rudii genome encodes 182 protein. Talk about streamlined. In fact this insect symbiont may be on the way to becoming an organelle. Still this is not as interresting as a free living organism in our quest to find the "minimum genome". Craig Venter (of the human genome fame) is interrested in finding this minimal genome to develop the new field of synthetic biology... "The Synthetic Biology Group is also interested in understanding and thus engineering new pathways ... Most genomes contain hundreds to thousand of genes necessary for adaptive living in complex environments. By synthesizing minimal genomes the team believes it is possible to construct simple cellular life with desirable synthetic properties... the team is dedicated to developing only synthetic organisms that completely lack the ability to survive outside the lab." Craig also recently announced the 10M$ X-prize genomics challenge (the same prize that was awarded for sub-orbital flights last year), to map 100 human genomes in 10 days. All you need is a few thousand summer students and lots of gels.
Posted by Anonymous Coward at 2:03 PM