My Picks From ScienceDaily

First Bacterial Genome Transplantation Changes One Species To Another:

Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) have announced the results of work on genome transplantation methods allowing them to transform one type of bacteria into another type dictated by the transplanted chromosome. The work, published online in the journal Science, by JCVI's Carole Lartigue, Ph.D. and colleagues, outlines the methods and techniques used to change one bacterial species, Mycoplasma capricolum into another, Mycoplasma mycoides Large Colony (LC), by replacing one organism's genome with the other one's genome.

But, if you think about it as "transplanting the cell membrane and wall of one species onto another" than it does not sound so epochal, does it?

Cloned Pigs Help Scientists Towards A Breakthrough In Alzheimer's:

The first pigs containing genes responsible for Alzheimer's disease will be born in Denmark in August. This event is a landmark achivement in the effort towards finding a cure for the disease.

RNA May Play Larger Role In Cell's Gene Activity, Researchers Find:

Large, seemingly useless pieces of RNA - a molecule originally considered only a lowly messenger for DNA - play an important role in letting cells know where they are in the body and what they are supposed to become, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered.

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The J. Craig Venter Institute has just announced the creation of the first bacterial cell controlled by a genome that is entirely chemically synthesized (PDF). The group has been working towards this goal for several years now, first working out how to synthesize and assemble such large pieces of…
Get in the mood for this bit of news, the synthesis of an artificial organism by Craig Venter's research team. Here's the equivalent of that twitching hand of Frankenstein's monster: Those are two colonies of Mycoplasma mycoides, their nucleoids containing entirely synthesized DNA. You can tell…
The reaction to the Venter Institute's synthetic genome transplantation has been decidedly mixed. Is this the beginning of something new and wonderful, the ability to really design organisms from scratch? Is it something more sinister, the beginning of a dark era where techno-corporate (or…
John Wilikins has a post on my last couple of entries: In a couple of posts, Scibling Alex Palazzo of The Daily Transcript has given two quite distinct views of what biology is about: information, and mechanism. In the first he argues that what is needed to build organisms is information, and in…