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First functional ‘designer’ chromosome in yeast synthesized [VIDEO]

Jonathan Marker | Science Recorder | March 28, 2014

First functional ‘designer’ chromosome in yeast synthesized [VIDEO]

The accomplishment marks one of the most important advances in yeast genetics since 1996, when scientists originally mapped out yeast’s entire DNA code.

According to a report from NYU’s School of Medicine, an international team of scientists has synthesized the first functional chromosome in yeast.  The discovery is an important step in the emergent field of synthetic biology, in which scientists are designing microorganisms to produce new medicines, raw materials for food and biofuels.

Over the preceding five years, scientists have constructed bacterial chromosomes and viral DNA, but this is the first report of an entire eukaryotic chromosome, which is the threadlike structure that carries genes in the nucleus of all plant and animal cells, built from scratch.  The researchers, led by Jef Boeke, PhD, director of NYU’s Langone Medical Center’s Institute for Systems Genetics, say their team’s global effort also marks one of the most important advances in yeast genetics since 1996, when scientists originally mapped out yeast’s entire DNA code.

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