Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

5 More Synthetic Yeast Chromosomes Created; Formation Of New Genome Now Possible

Mar 10, 2017 01:49 AM EST

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Adult students participate in a genomic laboratory workshop August 15, 2001 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Scientists have created five more synthetic yeast chromosomes. They are now just a few more synthetic chromosomes into creating a new genome.

The newly created synthetic yeast chromosomes were placed back inside the yeast cells. They were created from normal letters, or base pairs, that make up DNA. However, a slight difference in the sequence was done to differentiate it from the natural ones, reported Live Science. The findings were published today, March 9, in the journal Science in seven separate papers titled "Unraveling the Human Genome: 6 Molecular Milestones".

The new chromosomes could help answer basic science questions, such as what is the purpose of portions of DNA that don't code for genes; they could also be useful for producing drugs like cancer antibodies on a massive scale, said study co-author Joel Bader, a bioinformatics professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

NYU Langone geneticist Jef Boeke and his international team are the ones who created the synthetic yeast chromosomes. They can also be called "designer" chromosomes as they are not natural. It has been a collaboration that started in 2010 and is still going on. The first synthetic yeast chromosome was made in 2014 through the same project, Synthetic Yeast 2.0 project (Sc2.0), stated Discover.

There is now a total of made-from-scratch chromosomes to six, while the yeast of a baker has 16. With this newly created synthetic yeast chromosomes, approximately 30 percent of the now artificial code can create a newly genome or living organism. It will definitely not take more time for the team of Sc2.0 researchers to complete the 100 percent artificial genetic material.

"We're aiming to finish all 16 chromosomes by the end of this calendar year," said Boeke. "There are several more that are already complete, and they are entering the debugging and characterization phase, which can take a good year," he added. The end is just the beginning. There are still more things to create and research on about DNA and other genetic materials when they finish this one.

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