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Chinese scientists create 4 synthetic yeast chromosomes:Report

Chinese scientists create 4 synthetic yeast chromosomes:Report
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Chinese scientists have assembled four synthetic yeast chromosomes, making it the second country after the US capable of designing and building...

Beijing: Chinese scientists have assembled four synthetic yeast chromosomes, making it the second country after the US capable of designing and building eukaryotic genomes. The findings were published in today's edition of journal Science, marking a step closer to building synthetic life, state media reported today.

In the study, researchers with Tianjin University, Tsinghua University and BGI-Shenzhen construct the synthetic active chromosomes through exactly matching the synthetic genome with the designed sequence for the first time, Xinhua news agency reported. In 2010, the US scientists succeeded in implanting a synthetic genome in a prokaryotic bacterium, marking the first step in chemical synthesis of living organisms.

The new effort is part of a larger project to redesign and re-engineer yeast chromosomes, called the Synthetic Yeast Genome Project, which several research institutes participated in, including those in China and the United States. Baker's yeast has long served as an important research model because their cells share many features with human cells, but are simpler and easier to study.

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