[ExI] This Speedy Genetic Tool Might Soon Let Scientists Create New Genes 'Overnight'

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 20 21:32:14 UTC 2018

"Two graduate students developed a method for synthesizing DNA
<https://www.livescience.com/topics/dna-genes> that could make it much
faster, cheaper and easier for biologists to create synthetic DNA sequences.

Right now, if you want to create a new gene — maybe to make a tomato plant
more bug resistant or to add a modification to your army of supersoldier
goats — the process is slow and expensive. Bases, the building blocks
of genetic
code <https://www.livescience.com/37247-dna.html>, get added one at a time
to a growing strand of DNA. The process sometimes fails, and it always runs
out of juice once a sequence reaches just 200 bases (a very short patch of
code in genetic terms), according to a statement
<https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/dbnl-fcb061318.php> from
the researchers.

Want to go longer? Better to write lots of different bits of genetic code
and then stitch them all together using enzymes — chemicals that living
things produce to help along the chemical reactions
<https://www.livescience.com/45145-how-do-enzymes-work.html> in their
bodies — even knowing how likely that is to fail. The new method, which the
students published Monday (June 18) in the journal Nature Biotechnology
<https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.4173>, could eliminate many of those
problems. [Genetics by the Numbers: 10 Tantalizing Tales

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